There are a LOT of words on these here internets. People are sharing links to blogs, books, videos, articles, etc. all day long. There are word everywhere.
Seriously, whatever stats people used to quote regarding the amount of words we communicate on a daily basis have probably quadrupled since the invention of social media.
After being a frequent reader of blogs for like 5 whole years and a Twitterer for 4 (which by the way makes a person an expert on these things), I've decoded certain phrases:
"Just the other day..." I'm about to tell you a story about something that has happened in my lifetime. It could have been 5 years ago, 5 days ago, 5 minutes ago. In fact, it may not have even happened yet.
"People always ask me..." At some point in my life, someone has asked me or someone around me, a question that vaguely resembles this one. Sure, they may have been asking for directions to the nearest gas station, but when I tell the story, they were totally asking me to explain the meaning of life.
"A good friend of mine wrote this life-changing book." Someone I know wrote this book, which I may or may not have read completely, but I'm going to ask you to read it anyway because they have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. Also, I'm hoping if I get them enough sales, they'll help me out when my book comes out in a few months.
I write this list jokingly, but the point is that honesty is incredibly important.
People tend to believe what they read online, and they trust people quickly for whatever reason when it comes to what they write. Perhaps because it's much harder to discern character over the internet. But, the fact is that as soon as someone gets even an inkling they are being tricked, they'll jump ship.
Are the words you're writing completely true? Could you defend them if you had to?
If the answers to either of those questions is "no", then maybe we rethink hitting "send" or "publish".
Sometimes people from our past ask me if you and I are still friends. I say "Yes", and try to act as if I don't know what they really mean by this question.
I think they would like me to follow up my response with something along these lines:
"Well, you know, I love the sinner...but of course I hate the sin."
There was a time when I would have responded with that, but the older I get the sillier that response seems. As if it is MY job or my right to offer you or anyone else grace. Or to decide what areas it is you even need grace.
There are things I am sure are wrong. Murder. Human Trafficking. Child Abuse. Lying. Stealing.
Then there are things I won't even pretend to know the answers on. I don't presume to know who you are deep inside. Genetically, emotionally, spiritually. At the end of the day, that's the most honest thing I can say. I just don't know.
So I can only act on the things I DO know.
I do know that when a group begins to act as if a personal opinion gives them the right to hate, then that's wrong.
When I act as if anyone needs me as their friend, to help them "see the light", I'm wrong.
I do know you don't need my friendship. I don't need your friendship, but I like to believe that we will continue to choose this friendship. Because you are the same hilarious person I've known since we were kids. A person who cares about their friends and family deeply, and doesn't take life too seriously.
I'm sorry that others tend to define you solely by your sexuality. For the moments early on, where I was so blindsided by that part of you, that I was no longer able to see you. A person, just like me.
I'm sorry that every time there's a natural disaster or act of inhumanity, certain groups find ways to pin that on you. If we are to believe bad things happen as a result of human brokenness then I have to believe that God is angry about a whole lot more than you. His greatest commands were to love HIM and love OTHERS. I'm sure He has a lot of questions for His followers in those areas.
Most of all, I'm sorry the church has often made you feel as if God could not love you. This is the saddest part. I mean, a God who loves us unconditionally...having very human conditions placed on that love.
I don't know how you even feel about God. I hope you know He loves you.
He loves you more than certain groups dislike you.
He loves you for the same exact reasons He loves me.
And as your friend I care today for the same reasons I cared when we were 14 years old.
Not in spite of the person you are, but because of the person you are.
I spend a lot of time at a Starbucks near my house. It's the only Starbucks I frequent because it used to be a bank, and they turned the vault into an awesome little sitting room. A.K.A- my office.
I'm not sure why, but people do a lot of talking while seated in the vault. I guess there's just much more sense of community in the vault. Yes, that is a "Bridesmaids" reference.
Here are some vault happenings:
Lady sits down, looks around, and proclaims, "Look, we all have iPhones!" That's kind of like saying, "Hey, we're all wearing shoes!" I respond with a smile and a "We sure do." The other people don't even look up. Probably because I'm a PC. They must be Macs.
Random woman asks me what I do, and proceeds to hand me cash as she says, "Teach me how to use LinkedIn." This turns into quite the lesson.
Dude reaches into his backpack, grabs a container of baby wipes and heads off to the bathroom. I can't help but wonder why he doesn't just take his whole bag. For dignity's sake.
Guy who works at local Mexican restaurant asks me for my phone number, and I decline. A few days later he's back, Skyping his girlfriend, talking about how much he loves her. He ends the conversation with, "I love you. Be sure not to let anyone touch what's mine." I'm left wondering, does she know her boyfriend is a giant tool?
Lincoln Matthew Wahlquist arrived this week, 7 days before his due date. He's sweet, and is the spitting image of Austin when Austin was born. The older kids think he's "so cute" and Austin isn't really sure what's going on just yet. Matt and Kristie are waiting to get released from the hospital, and hoping for today! Here are some of the pictures that I got in the hospital.