I'd rather have mad or angry....

I am in Gatlinburg for the night, leading worship for the "Young Professionals" retreat for a group from Hilldale Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. We are staying in an amazing 4-story cabin complete with a pool table and ping pong table, plasma screens in nearly every room, and a theater room with a huge projection screen and lounging better-than-movie-theater style chairs. And thankfully wireless connection so I can blog about this joint.

The group won't arrive for another hour or so, so I thought I would also blog about an occurrence from yesterday. I'll start it with a quote from one of the recent episodes of my favorite TV show Hannah Montana (I know I know) At some dramatic moment in the show, where Mile (aka Hannah Montana.....I know I know), she in desperation cries to her brother "Dad said he was disappointed with me" and her brother replies "NOT DISAPPOINTED, WHY COULDN'T HE BE ANGRY OR MAD?." It's true though, having someone be disappointed in you really seems much worse than mad or angry. I can't recall specific times, but I can imagine how I felt when my parents said they were disappointed in me. And they didn't always have to say it, you could just tell.

Well I experienced that sense of disappointment yesterday. I won't go into great detail, as to make the story a bit more interesting, but I decided to try a different "look" for myself yesterday. Nothing drastic, or permanent, just different. Well I attempted this look without giving Karen any forewarning. So when I came home with my new "look" she saw it, and it took a second, but slowly but surely the look of distinct disappointment came across her face. She didn't say it, but I could feel it, so much so that I could feel myself withdrawing, I could feel my arms drawing up, and hugging around me. I could feel my head start to drop, and my eyes began to search the floor. It's amazing how the opinion of someone you love so much, and that loves you means the most, and how their words can cut the deepest, or lift the highest (and again let me stress that she didn't say anything harsh....she didn't say much at all actually.....). Well, after receiving this reaction, I just wanted to completely disassemble the whole new "look". I wanted to undo what I had done. Unfortunately, though as I said before, it wasn't permanent, but also not immediately reversable. And her look was bad enough but when I finally fought through my new-found venerability enough to look back up at her, she had tears in her eyes......nail in the coffin....I dropped my head again, held out my arms and gingerly walked forward for a hug. I know this isn't typical male response....and I wish i was the type of guy who could just say "well I like it, and I don't care what you think....I know you'll love me anyway" but alas this is not who I am.

Well needless to say, after a very brief discussion, I assured Karen that I would not continue with my new "look" any longer than was possible, and I got a really good sense of what she likes, and doesn't like. And the awkwardness was not prolonged.But I did have the unfortunate sense of knowing what it likes for Karen to be disappointed in me. This is new for me in the 2 and 1/2 years of marriage. I've sensed her frustration with me, maybe even a tinge of anger, and those are easily dealt with. You talk it out. You apologize, you make amends. But disappointment is a sharper knife and has potential to leave a slower-healing wound. That's not to say that Karen is still disappointed with me. I think we resolved the issue.....I am certain that today she has not turned the corner and gladly embraced the "look". But I don't think she holds it against me. And if I were to be honest, I think she is valid to feel the way she felt.

One final observation about those closest to us. When forgiveness is offered or received, and problems are worked out, that's when those relationships reach new levels. It is in time of struggle, disagreement, pain, forgiveness, and healing that intimacy is increased. It is true in personal relationships. It is true in our relationship with God. C.S. Lewis said it great in his book The Problem With Pain when he said "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."



What could this new look be?

Did you put on a dress?
Shave your head?
Wear women's stocking?
Grow a moustache?

October 20, 2007 at 7:18 PM  

Hannah Montana?

And she's not disappointed in you for that?

October 20, 2007 at 7:43 PM  

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