Ms. Theologian invites me to post again about my friend's inexplicable (to me) decision to end our longtime, long distance friendship, which foundered when I moved so far away and made so many changes in my life that I could not keep up my end. (Actually, I don't remember that she kept hers up either, but that's not my point.)
I am much more at peace about it today, partly because I'm a little more distanced, a little more understanding, and a little more philosophical. And chopping thistles probably didn't hurt either.
Sometimes therapists will ask their clients "does this situation seem to you like any other situation you've been in?" and when I asked myself that question, I answered "yes, it does". Others have done similar things to me, not often, but just often enough that I need to take note and examine my own behavior, which, I admit, can be less than sensitive to another's needs. I have also watched others do this "shutting the door" act to another person and have wondered at the reasoning behind it.
My brother whom I love dearly has done this to my sister who is my best friend, in the past, for reasons which were incomprehensible to me and to her. He has mellowed somewhat, but there's tension between them because of it. He never wanted to explain fully; it seemed like the adult equivalent of "if you don't know, I ain't agonna tell you" thing done by junior high kids. Consequently, she was and is still in the dark.
I used to try to bring them together but eventually gave up on that as a bad idea. I have had to reconcile it in my mind as "he just needed to do it", for whatever reason, and I have no way to change that.
I have done what I can. I am now more alert to how my behavior and role sometimes are problematic for friends and I am more alert to how the role of ministry has changed my identity and my actions in the world. I have found a middle ground between taking all the blame and taking none of it and it is a reasonable, if not comfortable, place to be. It has quit keeping me awake in the night. And the early morning rain of a few days ago....well, it's nice out today.