Night-time wisdom

Bedtime in our house is probably much like any other family.  There are snacks, stories, procrastination, kisses and finally closing the door on another day.  Sometimes though, during the bedtime routine, little questions of life poke their way through and need to be pondered.  Last night, it came from a conversation with my daughter.  This is her grade 6 year, and it's a time of transition both physically and emotionally.  We've had conversations recently about friendship and what it means to be a good friend.  Last night we were talking about the difference between "good time" friends and "long time" friends.  She was struggling with how to have a serious conversation with a friend who would only respond with funny words or by brushing off her concerns.  She was wondering just how she was supposed to talk to her friend.  Truth be told, at 8:30 last night, I was tired and my minister brain was firmly in the off position.  But I did manage to tell that the worth was in the trying.  Try talking to her, and if that didn't work just enjoy being goofy with her and being the best friend she could be to the other.  We chatted for a bit longer, and decided that as long as she has friends she can talk to about anything -- from movies to feelings -- then she was doing okay.

It's a tough place to be.  Navigating the ins and outs of relationships at any age can be tricky and confusing.    We need both kinds of people in our lives -- those we can be goofy with and those we can be serious with.  Church congregations are no different.  We have those who are deeply serious and concerned about the life and work of the church, and those who linger on the edges, doing what needs to be done without rooting in too deep.  Without either of those kinds of people, and all the people who fall in between those two ends - the church wouldn't be nearly as intriguing and lively as it is.  The diversity of relationships is one of the blessings of life.  Even when those relationships can be trying.  These relationships support us when we need reminding of our worth, of our importance.  These relationships encourage us when we need the nudge to try something new, or when we need to leave something hurtful.  I think, as we work through the interactions that we deal with every day, it's important to remember that the Holy Mystery called us to love our neighbours -- even if they are challenging. To quote Peter Capaldi, playing the 13th Doctor of Doctor Who, "Always try to be nice, and never fail to be kind".  There in lies the core of our faith -- kindness -- love -- respect.