No Need to Edit?

girl in leopard pantsuitAll week long I’ve been thinking about Moses and God (not my dog Moses, but the Old Testament of the Bible Moses). We learn that Moses was a friend of God and that God spoke clearly to him.

What does that mean?

This is what it means to me.

With my closest friends I can let it all out. I can air my dirty laundry. I can say that I’m going to Round-Up some one’s yard, or dognap their Pomeranian, or invite their children over and feed them nothing but Kool-Aid and Twinkies and then send them home. And I can, in my emotional state convince myself that I really mean to do those kinds of things, but my true friends know, deep down, that I’m super frustrated about something and need to get it off my chest. They know that I need to talk a big talk but, when the rubber meets the road, I’ll do my best to be loving and nice, and if I can’t, I’ll avoid. They don’t hold it against me for not following through on the dognapping or Twinkies or dead grass.

With my closest friends, I can say whatever I want, however I want. I can mention names, details, and possible errant conclusions/assumptions, and it remains a private, interesting conversation between friends. We have a lot of history and past conversations that color all the others and create the backdrop for every interaction we have. We don’t have to rehash all the details of previous discussions, incidents, or family dramas unless we want to. We just keep adding to the ongoing dialogue one word, one emotion (or ten), one situation at a time. The conversation never really ends. The knowing of one another keeps growing.

With my closest friends, sometimes I don’t have to say anything at all. I can see a pair of stretch pants coming down the street, and all I have to do is raise my eyebrows and nod in their direction and my friend knows what I’m saying: Those are so wrong in so many ways. Ignorance is NOT bliss! My friends know how to interpret my unspoken messages in the same way they interpret my preaching, complaining, irritation, and bravado.

With my closest friends, I don’t have to edit myself. They hear everything I say and understand me anyway. And when they don’t, I share more of myself to clarify.

But it’s not so with those whom I’m not so close. I’m careful with my words. I restrain from expressing certain emotions. I don’t share all the details, and I dance around certain topics. When a stranger enters the scene where my friends and I are sharing openly, the dynamics shift. The subject may change. We may hide our hearts and hold our tongues.

Not that being careful is bad. Sometimes, strangers keep us on our toes and make us talk better of others than we are prone to do in “comfortable” settings. Sometimes, strangers make us restrain from sharing details that are not ours to share anyway, and so, their sometimes unwanted presence is a blessing in disguise. Sometimes being careful is good.

But other times, editing our conversations and our emotions can lead to a lack of clarity. A lot of questions come up that never get answered. We can interpret a person’s meaning incorrectly for want of details or an emotional response. Leaving things out can create confusion and misunderstanding.

Yet letting it all hang out with people who don’t know you and don’t understand you can also create a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding. If I were to say, about my children, to someone who doesn’t know me and the interactions I have with my kiddos: “ARG, I’M ABOUT READY TO LOCK THOSE LITTLE MONSTERS UP!” I might find myself face to face with someone from social services. But to someone who knows me well, a friend, they would know it’s been a bad day, and, for whatever reason, I needed to vent for a moment. AND they wouldn’t judge me a bad mom.

So, back to Moses and God.

God spoke clearly to Moses because they were on very friendly terms. God didn’t have to edit himself in Moses’ company. God didn’t leave out details. (How do we know this? Have you read Leviticus?)

How often does God have to edit himself with me? What details am I missing?

Can God have the kind of conversations with me where he can share his feelings even if he chooses to restrain himself from acting, and I won’t hold it against him or judge him to be fickle or unreliable. When he says something, but means another will I pick up on the tone of his voice and the timbre of his mood to know the difference?

When will my friendship with God be at the stage where he can speak clearly to me with no need to edit?

I look forward to that day. I wonder what kinds of things he’d like to say.

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One Response to “No Need to Edit?”
  1. Judy says:

    wow, good word. Thank you so much! Hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks for letting me vent and not holding is against me! I still have conversations with you daily. You are so wise! he he

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