Before Austin and I got married we did counseling to have his grandmother’s pastor ordain us. Austin was a little hesitant because he believes “if it’s not broken it doesn’t need to be fixed.” Allowing someone into our personal space was almost like a threat, except maybe not to the extremity of that word. Perhaps an open door to unwanted opportunities? I couldn’t tell you what the right words are.
I, too, believe in protecting your relationship and keeping others out of it. The sentiment of others, especially loved ones, sometimes has the capacity to influence your personal opinion and emotion, which occasionally opens up the possible wedge of animosity in your relationship. Comparing and judging yourself against other people’s thoughts can be dangerous. I also believe that the experience and opinions of others, especially wise elders, are necessary to appreciate.
A conversation I absorbed from Charles (the pastor) was about people of the church and how they impacted his life tremendously. After experiencing multiple losses, the passing of loved ones, he formed his own opinion about people of the church.
He said, “Those people will be there when no one knows the answers. There will be days when you wn’t have it in you to rejoice and those people will be there to rejoice for you. And there will be days those people won’t have it in them to rejoice and you can help them.”
When I think of the statement “those people” it seems to have a stigma. You know, those people who are filthy rich and have everything handed to them. Those people who are poor and lazy. Those people who are obese and worthless. Those people who are privileged by their skin color. Those people who have perfect hair and are so impressively polished, I hate them. Those people and the stigma of those.
When I think about what Charles shared with Austin and I, those people seem quite admirable. Those people are human. Those people are the kind of people I seek to have in my life because they will love you unconditionally. Those people do not have to be found in a church but can also be found in a good community. We should all seek more of “those people.”