I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite books, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Such a beautiful change of pace and thought from the constant hum of political warfare being thrown back and forth like bombs between the airwaves.
I really can’t stand one of my roommates. She might be one of the most ungrateful, self centered people I have ever met. And i’ve been focusing on my dislike of her for weeks. Each day, adding a new flaw to the list. After a while it really starts to bring me down. Just fixating on despise. It’s really very unhealthy.
Donald says sometimes it feels as though you are not in control of things, disliking people that is. And I thought YES! Yes, exactly, it’s not that I enjoy disliking people, but rather I cannot force myself to feel differently anymore than I can force myself to mayonnaise or country music.
Donald says our culture talks about relationships in this metaphor of economics. . . we invest in people, value them, call them priceless. And by doing so we treat love like a commodity. He says God doesn’t do that to us. He doesn’t use love like money. He has never withheld love to teach us lessons. And who are we, who am I to treat others in such a way? People will never listen to you unless they sense that you like them. I dislike my roommate because I think she needs to change. I think she needs to broaden her world view to ditch the white privileged ignorance. But how do I expect her to grow and change if all I convey is annoyance and disapproval?
Then he writes something to profound and true I should read it everyday,
“it wasn’t my responsibility to change somebody, that is was God’s, that my part was to communicate love and approval”
there is so much freedom in that. I feel like a weight of obligatory hatred has been lifted from, my heavy heart.
and I start to laugh at the absurdity of it all. at the fact that if I were to go back and meet my 21 year old self, I probably wouldn’t like me either. So I’ll let this girl journey down her path, and I pray that when she looks back on this time in her life, that she will reflect on me as someone who showed her love, who taught her true and beautiful things about life.