Monday, June 05, 2006


i really don’t want to go too far into this, but i was a lonely kid. i realize that everyone probably shares this story at some level and i don’t really believe that my experience was all that peculiar. but it still hurt.

my relative lack of inhibition, tendency to give the old fuck you to the authorities and self-depreciating sense of humor often ensured provided me with an immediate “in” with the most popular kids in school, the prettiest – if not the most pious - girls at camp and the most talented players on the team. however, soon after i started sharing my opinions (of which, i have many) and conversing with people in a manner that i considered dialogue and they considered debate, i found myself suddenly walking the hallways alone, catching an early ride home from sunset bible camp and riding the pine beside the second string right fielder. i don’t want to over-psychologize things, but i think that my early years were all about my unrestrained ID.

fortunately, around the time of my 19th birthday and after being arraigned for my fourth misdemeanor in six months, i was freely given a super-ego by faith through grace. little by little, that superego began to reshape my life and left me a little better prepared to enter into relationships. of course, i could also talk about the super-ego as the new man, the id as the old and the fully restored ego as the resurrection body that still lies, i think anyway, just over the horizon, but there are many different ways of telling the same story and i feel pretty freudian today. so there you go.

why am i sharing this? well, it’s a long introduction to a simple assertion: i am beginning to believe that community is the richest fruit and (perhaps) the greatest proof of my salvation. about halfway through our rain-soaked, alcohol aided, wild at heart weekend, i realized what a wonderful gift friendship truly is. as i chatted late into the night with james and cade, laughed hysterically at the sound of craig and jamie’s paean to pocahontas and threatened to disturb dave’s sleep with a golden shower, i was overwhelmed with gratitude for friends who: love me enough to admonish me, listen to my hasty opinions without condemnation and choose to accompany me through the best of times and the worst. community – yes, i’m including my family here – is the clearest reflection of God that i have yet to see and, i suspect, one of the best apologetics for my faith that i have yet to find.

for once, that’s all i have to say about that.


james said...

And I will add, thank you for your kind ear.

Now, let us take up discussion with the Appalachian Trail

d10 said...

gentry, thanks for putting this out there. it's a great reminder not only why we need to be doing what we're doing now, but why we can't help but do it. -b