Mark to Sue 14 part 2
Your verbal skills probably enhance your enjoyment of parties. I hate parties (maybe small ones are OK), because my solitude is probably perceived as snobbery.
My people and verbal skills offer little redemption for me because they are poor at their best. You say you talk too much? I'd hate to get into a debate with you. I don't verbalize much and would probably concede. Well . . . I talk on a very intimate level with those I trust. I think much about my personality is related to a fear of rejection. Lack of verbal skills, a few close friends, no-party animal, introspection, are all symptoms of a person who is surrounded by a fortress, seeking to protect the satisfying, delicate inner world of the ideal. Now how does a guy like this take to the basketball court to compete? I just don't know! But I do, and I love eating other people's lunch out there.
When you spoke of your lack of compassion, in some ways I sensed something like that after our first couple of e-mails. I wouldn't have called it a lack of compassion, though, just a "get a life and quit your belly-aching" kind of approach to emotional problem-solving. But your third e-mail shattered that image (you mentioned going through 6 tissues, or something like that). I think all of us at some point in our struggles, must stop thinking - maybe even stop crying - and take action. But I think your perceived lack of compassion could also be a keen awareness of purpose. Knowing when and how to make the next move with expedience. Sometimes I bog down here, especially when I've got to lead a group (a group means more than one.)
Well, what I've said so far has given you a peek at some of the chinks in my armor. But I think the biggest one is a self-centeredness - a desire for recognition and a desire for supreme success. I will often expect people to accept my ways - if I'm misunderstood, I withdraw, thus making matters worse. Unlike you, I don't possess any natural gifts to bail me out here. You're verbal, and can get things out - I'm not. If I've inadvertently offended someone with my natural behavior, I see damage control as confrontation, and I pull further into my shell. Glenda stretched me here (so did the Lord). This is not a good trait to have with kids. Dad can't be moody - in his own little world. They need my REAL attention and encouragement - not just pacification. I guess my kids have taught me much in this regard. We are all born with strengths - taken to extremes they become faults. Christ is experientially sanctifying us . . . rearranging us to make good servants.
You said you were upstairs trying to get some work done when Ellee called about the wolf. I wondered what you look like working? Was your hair pulled up? Were you sitting or standing? Were you in shorts or jeans? Wearing a T-shirt or a dress? That little sentence conjured up a series of image questions for me. Not that you need to answer them - it's just that my mind gets a lot of "something" from the visual.
In a couple of your previous letters you mentioned my arms around you. My arms and heart desire to comfort, and your words painted a pretty picture in my mind. In the past I've told friends that I felt like a marksman shooting at nothing. There's no satisfaction in shooting at the air! I have love to give, but no object. She was taken away. That energy still flows, but nobody's there to receive it. The thought of having my arms comfort and strengthen you lifted my spirits. You probably didn't know the impact those words would have. Oh well. Maybe I'm gullible and a little vulnerable, too, at this point.