What question do I hate to be asked? It’s the same question that I hate to ask anyone else. “What do you DO?” I don’t want to get to know someone by knowing what they do – we all do what we have to do to get through our lives and pay our bills. Sharing what you DO can easily become a debate on who is the most busy and has the most stuff to do. I’ve found that no one ever wins that debate. Focusing on what you DO can become a leveling field that tries to mark people with “who’s the most important?”
I much prefer to get to know how the person feels, or what they care deeply about. I’d like to know what interests they have and how they enjoy spending their time. I much prefer when a person wants to be my friend because they care about these things, than to be my friend because of what I DO.
We were a long line of mothers and young wives. The men we loved were walking away from us, heavily clad with their duffel bags and heavy boots. They were proud in their new uniforms, and we hoped they were prepared.
I was not prepared. I was not ready to send my son to war. They told my son that he was a part of the elite men who fight for their country. They were now comrades in a world-wide group of men who had gone before them.
All I knew was that he was my son and he would be the target of someone’s rifle or bomb.
The morning in the barn was electrified with our anger.
Words trapped within now hurled between us.
You stormed out in anger and I was alone.
I thought we’d never come back from that one.
Then you returned and we talked.
Understanding the other isn’t always easy
Accepting another view is difficult.
Our friendship has been washed with our honesty.
And we leave the barn smiling, hand in hand once again.
If we don’t use forgiveness, we lose our relationships.