What if… (response 4)

This piece is one in a series of responses to “What If…” that we are posting this week.

If I could really know, like really, really know, that what is best for everyone is really what is best for me, then what would my choices begin to look like?

I didn’t want you to open your door to me. I didn’t want you to let me in. But as the golden late afternoon light faded to twilight in your apartment, you tested the sincerity of my intention by listening with patience and interest. I didn’t want you to ask me questions. How much easier it would have been had you smiled politely, said thanks but no thanks, not interested thanks, sorry, please and thank you, have a nice day, goodbye, all the best. The social niceties come thoughtlessly, easily, rolling off the tongue without thought or attention. But your questions call me to be thoughtful, you see, which happens to be far more uncomfortable.

I didn’t want you to come the next night, and I was scared to see you’d brought a friend. He probably won’t like it, I thought, how could these people understand? The time was too short; this was all moving just too quickly, it’s just not how its done, never can, never will they see what it has taken me years to accept and understand. But the words of the prayers must have done something to me, because by the end of the night we had bound our fates in a commitment to a process of study and action.

I didn’t want you to come with your questions, I didn’t want you to try so hard. Who were you to challenge the life I had built myself in a circle of faith that was my own? What was this dross that was starting to chip away?

I didn’t want to see your thirst, as it reminded me of the drought that my own limited knowledge could not ably quench…

I didn’t want to see you serve, as it held up a mirror to my own unfulfilled opportunities…

But now, oh now,

We have forged this new path together

and I don’t ever want to go back.