Smile and Wave Basis
Posted by Luther D. Powell on August 23, 2012
So I met this girl.
Ha, you probably thought this would turn into some romantic-rant the minute you read that, didn’t ya? Romantic-rant. Rommmant? Nah, that won’t work. ANYWAY, during my first work shift of the semester, a freshman girl approached me with the sincerest of faces and asked if I could explain to her how her mealplan system worked. I proceeded to do so, she thanked me and walked away. Since then, I have seen this girl on campus at least four times, and each of those times, neither of us have done much more than smile and wave at each other.
Am I the only person who gets internally frustrated by this sort of thing? I enjoy the occasioanal smile-and-wave, it lets me know people don’t think I’m an alien or something, but what does that MAKE that person to me? Are we friends? Acquaintances? How many variable timelines of history would be dramatically altered if I just talked to this girl like a normal person the next time I saw her? I don’t know, but friendships happen in weird ways these days. Nobody asks “Hey, will you be my friend?” anymore. It’s all about Facebook and texting and other moderately-useful technological advances I haven’t yet mastered. Sometimes you just straight-up meet people through Facebook! Sometimes those people get you published (thanks, Ben and Lisa)!
I may forever be entitled to a “smile-and-wave” basis with this girl, as I am with a select few other human beings on the planet, but I could break that. I could say, “Hey, I see you at places doing things and stuff. I do things and stuff too, so we should totally just be friends instead of passing each other awkwardly figuring out how to interact with each other for the rest of our existence.” I might not. We’ll see how daring I’m feeling the next time I pass her. But what about the smile-and-wave basis you end up on with friends occasionally? That happens too, right?
And I hate it.
You’ve been close to a person for a certain amount of time, but now there’s distance. Happens all the time. Could be because something actually happened to cause such distance, could just be you’ve run out of new things to talk about with that friend. If I know this situation well, and I believe I do, most of the time, before one of you or the other decides to break the silence and do more than smile and wave as you pass on the sidewalk, enough time may pass for you and that friend to have changed a lot. Changes in character can come about unexpectedly, and I, for one, am often intimidated by the knowledge of such changes. What if it’s too late to talk to this person again? What if my time has passed and I’ll just look weird if I try to say anything? What if he/she doesn’t forgive me?
HEY GUESS WHAT? This happens with God a whole lot. You may not recognize it because you’re too busy with whatever distractions have put distance between you and God in the first place. I know it happens to me frequently, and the silly part is, I feel exactly the same way with God as I do with friends and newly-met-friend-stranger-acquaintance-people. What if it’s too late to start conversation? What if I’ll look weird? What if He doesn’t forgive me?
Whether you’ve just met a person but haven’t developed a friendship, or you’ve become distant with someone you’ve already called a friend, the way you break the silence is pretty much the same: start new. The cool thing about God is that He doesn’t change. We do, but He’s always been God. He gives us a clean slate after every time we come to Him to confess our sins, so technically, we’re starting new with Him anytime we’ve got something to confess (which, unless you’re an android, is more than likely every stinkin’ day).
I try to treat God like a friend as much as I treat Him like God, and anything else. ‘Cause that’s what He is. That’s what He said He is, and what He was making a point out of becoming to us when He was here with us in bodily form. So when you’ve been on a smile-and-wave basis with God for a while and you don’t know how to fix that? Well first, be glad He’s still smiling back. He probably always will. Second, just come to Him any way you’d come to a friend in the same situation. “Hey, friend. I’ve been distant for [such-n-such] reason, and I see that I need to make amends. Can we start over?”
Luther D. Powell
One Response to “Smile and Wave Basis”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.