I may be in the minority on this, but my general feeling is that if you and I can't openly and respectfully disagree with each other, I'm not going to feel like I have a close relationship with you. I didn't always realize this about myself. In college, I was part of a lovely group of people, but none of them shared my style of addressing things. Years later, one of them told me that I was the only person anyone else in the group had any conflict with. When she told me that, I heard it as, "you're the problem; the rest of us can get along." That may have been true, but I think it's also true that we had very different needs/values/priorities in terms of how relationships function.
There are people I don't respect enough to argue with-- respect and disagreement are very closely tied to me. (Those of you who'd like to send condolences to my husband, email me for the address.) When I'm not ever allowed to disagree with someone, I feel hugely disrespected. (Please insert the obvious caveat about there being appropriate times and places for both speaking and letting things lie.)
Which brings us to God.
Look: in theory, I think we're allowed to argue with God. The psalms, various lamentations, even Jesus, all suggest that we can protest. My head believes it, but the rest of me won't follow. I've been noticing lately that I'm ticked off, and I'm not bothering to argue with God about it.
You know what I'm saying?
For those who need a translation, "fine" is one of the least polite words in my lexicon. It's a succinct reduction of, "you're an idiot" and "get away from me." (I probably shouldn't tell you that-- it's bound to come back and bite me.)
I've only just put together that:
1) I hugely respect and cherish those friends I can disagree with.
2) I don't feel free to disagree with God.
3) I've got a major obstacle to being close to God right now.
And look: before you send me pithy statements about how God can take our anger, and you've disagreed with God and flowers bloomed and birds sang-- I get it. I get it, brain-wise. I'm saying, growth is hard, and God and I need to dig out from underneath some tough stuff here, so let's not talk about it like it's easy.
Anyway, that's my prayer this week: fine. And my other prayer is for different prayers to come eventually.
Learning from Soup Night
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