Strange Confessions: The Inadequacy of Inadequacy
Strange Confessions: Unworthy of what a friend thinks I am, is a strange burden to better myself so I can measure up to his thoughts of me.
So I have a friend whom I greatly admire. He is older than me, I don’t know his exact age but I do know he was in the Vietnam War. He is one of the smartest men I know. He reads history, theology, philosophy. He also is very well-read in fiction; historical, classics, and science fiction. He has a great mind for recall, yet has such a great sense of self-deprecation toward his own memory. He is a part of the family I have gained here in West Plains, of which I am so grateful. Admittedly, he has made people very uncomfortable because of his way of speaking truth: quickly and bluntly. This is a trait that has made me, as well as my wife, love him all the more. I really don’t know what we would be doing without our Tuesday night group, especially him and his family.
I wrote about him on That One Site a while ago, that he has a thing he does to me which makes me want to be a better man. When he is talking about something and is trying to recall something he can’t quite remember, he’ll stop and look at me expectantly, as if I know the answer. If I know what he was looking for, what elation I feel that I met his expectation. But, if I don’t, then I must know it for next time.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to him on the phone, and he asks me if I’ve ever read any Tony Hillerman. I said that I did, but it was quite a few years ago. He told me that I reminded him of a character in the books called “Long Thinker”. I at first thought he was saying, “Long Finger” which made me laugh anyway. When I finally realized that he said “Thinker”, I thought to myself, “Why?” I mean, I am very introspective, but to me, “thinker” implies smart, which I use to think I was, back in grade school. But, he thinks I am a very deep thinker. I’ve come to the realization now, that I am just introspective.
Lately, he has emailed and talked to me about how he has been reading C.S. Lewis again, and asked me if I’ve ever read any. Now, you must understand that much of what I read is for entertainment, I try to grab fiction that I may learn something, but my tastes lean toward the thriller, or some clever, not too deep science-fiction, or the occasional horror. All the stuff that I’ve wanted to read, non-fiction wise, has been historical, social/philosophical, or Christian in nature. At some point in the book I feel like I get the “gist” of the book and can’t make myself go any further. I discovered my friend reading a historical fiction set of novels on Caesar by Conn Iggulden, and checked them out at the library. This stuff was just my style. But when he was talking to me about the essays by Lewis and that I should read them, I, of course, had to. Not out of pride, or some sense obligation, but, because he read it, and thought that I would get a lot out of it too. Well, I picked up one he suggested, and we actually had it: “The Abolition of Man”. I started reading it, and I am having a bit of a hard time with it. I have a hard time trying to connect what thoughts are connecting with what his points are coming across and if it is what he is opposing or for. If you didn’t understand the last sentence, then you have some idea of what I am going through.
I have another friend who is very smart; he is a professor of chemistry at a prestigious university. He may not say it is prestigious, but he’s teaching there, so that makes it so. He is one I greatly admire too; in many similar and different ways. He has figured out how to talk to me in ways I can understand what he is saying without making it sound condescending or that he is impatient in any way. He has so much going on in his world that he even has the time and energy to accomplish all his heavy labors at home, and some great hobbies to boot. Again, he would say that he doesn’t get half the things accomplished that he needs to, but it is way more than I do. A project he started working with me here at home, is still not done. Call me half project man. It probably has something to do with what my Mom always said to me that I wrote about in a previous entry.
Anyway, how do I get to like, befriend, and admire such minds greater than my own? I don’t know. It kind of has always been that way. Not that it has ever been beneficial… wait, that’s not true. I probably would be some doe-eyed doofus, in the closet, sucking my thumb, whimpering about aluminum foil, if I didn’t know these friends I’ve always been attracted to.
This is much the way I feel about God: That He is someone I want to be around because what He has, may rub off on me some. These men in no way think highly of themselves, because otherwise, why would they hang out with me? And, like God, who humbled Himself, just to know me, they have humbled themselves, to be my friend; have a relationship with me.
Thank you God for these men who I can call friends, who are there when I need them. May I be that kind of friend too.
- Strange Confessions: In which I wonder how far God’s sense of humor goes (strangerinrebellion.wordpress.com)
Posted on September 19, 2013, in Strange Confessions and tagged Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis, Christian, Conn Iggulden, Friends, Inadequate, Relationship, self deprecation, Strange Confessions, Tony Hillerman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.