Friday, December 28, 2007

another comment gone awry

merry belated christmas and a happy nearly new year to you all.

obviously there is a misunderstanding here. i was intentionally being vague in talking about who exactly it was that was offended because it wasn't really the focal point of what i was sharing. i was simply trying to say that the issue was there, it was affecting me, and i would like prayer about it. sharing is a necessary step so that my emotions don't back up on me. and i in turn do something outrageous. talking about it was the first step to try to deal with the complex emotions in a healthy manner, since the peace was not coming on its own after meditation like usual. it was not to gossip or drag anyone down. (btw, nate, god gets a good healthy dose of my rage at least once every 1-2 weeks. he can handle it, though. he's real good about it, actually.)

but since it seems to be the sticking point, i shall try to elaborate gently. the people in question are not my parents. my mother and father have been nothing but wonderful and supportive and shown nothing but nonjudgemental, unconditional love these past few years as i've gone through this. i honor my parents greatly not simply because it is demanded of me, but also because they deserve it as much as any set of parents this earth has seen. if they had a problem, they didn't say anything to anyone.

so this also means that those in question are not the "hosts" either. they are "guests" along with me.

the original story goes like this. when erin, the kids, and i visited duluth for the last time over the 4th of july, i brought my favorite shirt with me. we arrived the afternoon of the 3rd, spent the entire day on the 4th, and left after lunch on the 5th. i wore the shirt during lunch on the 5th.

skip to a couple of months later when 2 of our syblings were helping our parents to move into their new house. on the way back from that excursion, one sybling told our youngest sybling about the shirt and just how disrespectful it was to everyone there. of course, youngest let me know about it. and our elder sybling is right. the shirt was worn very deliberately.

it's just the motives that are being mistaken.

i had prayed about this alot beforehand, and i felt the clearance to bring my shirt with me. i did, however, out of respect feel that i should leave my other favorite shirts at home. these would include:





you see. now these, i feel, would have been completely crossing the line. the other one, well, it is as its name implies.

i felt in my spirit that it was time to start coming out of the closet to my family about who i really am. i thought one of the best and gentlest ways to do this was to simply wear my favorite shirt, which is cut from a very different cloth, and say nothing about it. simply let it be.

and i believe god felt the same way. at least, if she felt differently, she didn't let me know that. she did however say that it was only to be worn on the last day for the last meal, out of respect. so that's what i did. in fact, between the time i put it on and people were walking out the door to begin their respective treks home again, was less than 45 minutes.

and it's hard for me to see how 45 minutes is too much to ask of someone. to allow me to be fully comfortable for that small span of time while i have been holding back and censoring myself in many ways for 45 hours. i doubt that anyone or anything short of holy spirit intervention will help me to understand why it has to be all or nothing. why even the tininest bit of tolerance can't be dished out. i'm all for people being honest, in fact, if someone would have said something in the moment, we could have discussed it and perhaps even deepened our relationship through discussion about it.

but it wasn't like that.

as always, i have nuanced so much that i have run out of time. i do have follow up on this christmas and how things went, as well as addressing michelle's questions regarding job and finances. i have some for you as well, michelle, if you don't mind. be back in a couple of days...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

reflection, roadblocks, and rage

as we come to the end of another western calander year, i look back. where i am now is so different than where i was a year ago. which is so different from where i was 2 years ago. so, for anyone interested, here are a couple of december classics for your perusal.

last year.
two years ago.

what's next for us? only god knows. i have begun to share with people that i consider the gatherings in our home as being church. the thought seems to shock them initially, to be replaced by genuine smiles of joy as i explain why. although i am sure that it is only a surface understanding, i hope it will continue to grow as will the gatherings. they are only happening once a month right now, but that seems to work best for people at the moment. and the gatherings themselves aren't the main part as church is not simply a gathering but the lives we live in the world moment to moment. and that is the truly exciting part. bringing the party with you wherever you go and drawing people into it if only for a brief moment.

which makes an offer i received last week concerning. it has been put forth to me that i could receive a promotion. which, on the human-sense side seems to be a good thing. however, it has the great potential to consume my mind and life and priorities with worldly things, and i don't want to see that happen. the times i have tried to hold both in my hands has only torn me apart, and i don't want to go the wrong way again. needing your prayers for wisdom and guidance please.

and lastly, i am filled with much anger as i think about going to my parents' for christmas and seeing the family. not simply because of all the things that went down last year and this summer with my bulk email. there is a shirt... well, here. let me show you.



this is my favorite shirt in the world. i feel much better about myself when i wear it, and it is extremely comfortable, so it also makes it my favorite piece of lounge-wear as well. yet, the last time it was worn at a family get together this summer, apparently, there was talk of indignation and disrespect. i wouldn't really know because all of the talk was done behind my back. no one talked with me directly. so now i am faced with a dilemma which on the surface seems silly, but runs very deep for me. it would be easy for me to simply leave the shirt at home and avoid the whole issue, but i wouldn't be doing it because it is what i truly feel inside. i would be doing it to kowtow to other's wishes yet again, and playing this character of who "jon" is in their minds, rather than them accepting me for who i am. it is that very reason that i wanted to stop attending church. i was sick of having to pretend to be someone else in order to receive love and acceptance. and i don't want to go back there again. more prayers for more wisdom please. as well as peace. because the anger gets overwhelming the more i think about it.

have a great christmas and a good new year.

much love from the peres clan.