July 26, 2015 Gathering – “The Between”
This past week, we talked about the concept of “The Between.” Essentially, this is a reminder that, in any interaction in a relationship, there is the author of the interaction, and the receiver.
When one speaks (or acts), they bring all of their uniqueness into what is said. All of their history, their thoughts, how they have learned to intone their voice, how hungry they are at that moment, everything. And the hearer brings all of the same. As a result, sometimes we say something that is heard very differently than how we intended it, or we hear something very differently from how the person meant it. The words are changed in “the between.”
Whenever we assume to know not just *what* someone said or did, but *why* they said or did it, we have forgotten the between. The way to honor “the between” is to “test” what we think was said or heard. When we’re open enough to ask what was meant, or why something was done – or we’re open enough to check in with someone to see how something was received – we honor the fact that we can have a different but equally valid understanding of what was communicated. We honor the relationship, and put a desire for truly understanding one another as the priority.
In our scriptural example, we noted Mary’s assumption for the reason that Jesus left them. She had moved from speaking about how upset she was for what happened (Jesus left without telling them and scared her), to assuming why Jesus did it (because he was okay with mistreating his parents – “Child, why have you treated us like this?”).
We used the attached picture to ask questions about “The Between.” Did the man throw the hammer on purpose, or accidentally? Was he angry, surprised, vengeful…? Was it a trick or a joke? How could someone find out? No matter what the reason, it’s pretty likely the guy on the receiving end ended up getting hurt. What would it be like to be angry at having been hurt, and somehow still maintain a healthy relationship with the other guy by honoring the between, and asking him what happened? How do we do that when we’re hurt (hopefully not with a hammer, but often with words or perceived carelessness) in our own lives?