Recently, I had my feelings hurt by some people who, I'm pretty sure, would be appalled to know that they hurt me. (at least, I'd like to think so!)
It took me probably a week to recognize that there was a problem and that this was it.
It took me at least another several days to come up with a way to say it that doesn't sound weird. I'm still struggling with the construction "I had my feelings hurt"...it seems so passive, but then to say "my feelings were hurt" seems so second grade, and to say "some people hurt my feelings" seems so accusatory...
I think we can see why it took so long for my brain to process that my feelings were hurt.
I'm a thinker. I think about things. Some might say I obsess, but I prefer "think." Sounds nicer, less crazy.
Sometimes I think about things for a long time before I feel them. Sometimes I think about things so I don't have to feel them. And sometimes, when I stop thinking for just a moment, I'm surprised when feelings are right there ready to step into the gap.
David LaMotte concert. I've seen David in concert a number of times over the years (OMG, I think it's been 11 years since the first time...wow), and had him at my previous church to do a workshop and concert on my birthday once, and we've had some conversations over the years, and once I even rented his family's cottage in Montreat for the Youth Conference (it's a great place to stay if you need somewhere to rent in Montreat--great location, very homey, reasonably priced).
David has a way of putting together words, and music, that doesn't leave room for thinking...which meant I spent quite a bit of the evening with a couple of tears in my eyes.
And at the end of the concert, he offered a benediction, with the refrain "You Are Loved" between each line.
I had no idea how much I needed to hear that last week.
(**don't get me wrong: I know I'm loved. I have family and friends and church people who love me. There was just something about the moment that took it from thinking to feeling, is what I mean. So if you're one of those family or friends or church members starting to feel indignant because surely I should know that you love me, don't worry: I know. thanks, and love you too.**)
and then, after the concert was over, the pastor and musician of the church where the concert was held invited me to join them in having a late dinner with David at a local mexican restaurant. I wiffle-waffled for a few minutes (it was late and I was an hour drive from home), but decided to go. I got in the car and pulled up the name of the restaurant on the map, and drove there. And I waited. and waited.
I was listening to a podcast, so I didn't notice quite how long it had been (about 10 minutes, it turned out), but I started to have that slight creeping sensation of "they decided on somewhere else and I didn't get the memo, guess I'll just go home" sadness. I brushed it off, telling myself I was insane, and pulled up Facebook while I waited...and there was a message from David, wondering where I was and giving me his phone number so I could find them.
I had, of course, picked the first place on the map-list, but it turned out there were two restaurants with the same name, and they were at the other one.
But more than that, the people had noticed and cared and reached out. When I arrived they were glad to see me, and we had a great time talking and listening--and there was real listening and responding and asking and wondering and laughing. And the difference between that and the other recent experience was like night and day. It was as if these people were living that benediction. And for a moment, I felt first, before I could think about it.
You Are Loved.