Really means you need to listen. And really (really) means you need to change. Except both of those are confrontational.
But what “We need to talk” does signify is an important discourse to come. One wherein the other seeks common ground. Ground that will be given and ground that will be taken. A discourse wherein change will be invited of both.
“You need to change.”
Really means we need to change. Because if you invite me to change and I do – then without you matching that change we remain at odds. So there is no point in either of us needing to talk or listen or change.
“We need to talk.”
How many times have I said that to God Soft Hands Jesus without saying that at all? But how many times have I meant that as I poured out my questions and doubts, my resistance to teaching and the bible, my faith of something as yet undefined because that “something” would too inclusive, not demanding enough – and without sufficient reward? A God Soft Hands Jesus who really does love all. Who really does embrace all. Who really doesn’t need to me kneel, to close my eyes, to study the bible as an intellectual discipline, who seeks only companionship – and through that relationship – and through that trust – and through that listening and talking – and through that … change. My change.
Because I find that to be the result of “We need to talk.” with GSHJ. I find that mostly when I talk. I change. I see that as a good thing. Something to be desired. A precious thing.
Merely voicing doubts, voicing questions, voicing resistance … saying aloud what I hear within … changes me. And I hope never to stop.
“I need to talk.”
And GSHJ listens. And whether that listening is real or my belief matters not. My belief is what matters. Just as those who seek and take therapy believe. Just as those who are ill and seek and take prescribed medication believe. We are all believers. We all believe the sun will come and go down because it does. We all believe that we will see that next sunrise and sunset because we believe in living. We all believe these computers are going to switch and switch off (well usually!). And we all believe in love. The love of a good book, the love of a great meal, the love of a better human nature, the love of a child and parent, the love of a lover.
I believe in God Soft Hands Jesus. And you may believe differently. We still need to talk, because I want to change.
And if you don’t want to change then I think you are missing the point of living. Because living (for me) is not about living better or living right (although those are worthy aims). It is about living fully. It is about keeping on changing, always exploring, never stopping asking, always a healthy doubting of “teaching” – always finding something new – and always changing because of the finding. Because if I don’t and wont …
How can I be fully living at all?
So if you don’t want to change – if you want to prove me wrong so I change and you don’t – if you want to save me – if you want me to believe what you believe because you are right and that will never change – if you think that is the way to live …
Let me tell you about God Soft Hands Jesus who has no such needs or fears.
That is why I believe. He welcomes me no matter my belief. And I have a theory.
I have learned that my beliefs have changed and will change again and again. Maybe not massively. Maybe just about details. Maybe about stuff you think unimportant or irrelevant. But they are my changes and I will seek changes. And my beliefs today may not be my beliefs tomorrow.
I call it my journey.
So why stop journeying just to be “right” – just so I can be “right” – just so I can “prove you are wrong”? If my theory is correct, it is not just my beliefs that will change as I keep journeying – yours will as you journey too.
So why fall out over our current beliefs?
That’s why I need to talk. And, I think, that’s why we need to be kind.