Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 27th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: My girlfriend broke up with me.

 

Dear Man: Well, don’t look at me. I know you too well to be your girlfriend.

 

Dear Woman: I wasn’t flirting–just sharing.

 

Dear Man: And I was just kidding. What happened?

 

Dear Woman: According to her, nothing. That was the problem. She said I was too predictable.

 

Dear Man: And predictable is a problem because…?

 

Dear Woman: Because of the way we began. I think we believed we were overall attracted to one another, but it was just a sexual connection. We thought we could transform that spark into something more lasting.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t that true of every relationship? You start off with the hots, it chills, and then you try to find something cool.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t think so. I think there are relationships that are just sexual, but we’re afraid to admit this to ourselves, so we try to force conversation over delivered pizza.

 

Dear Man: So what is the difference between a sexual relationship and another?

 

Dear Woman: Well, let’s take an arbitrary number. How about 422? Yes, after the 422nd time you have sex, about everything that can possibly be physically discovered about each other has been completed. So then you either have a personal interest which sustains the coupling, or you start picking at each other, looking for a reason to split.

 

Dear Man: So do you think it’s about a personal interest?

 

Dear Woman: No, I don’t think a personal interest sustains two people, either. It must become a mutual interest. There has to be a reason to coagulate.

 

Dear Man: Coagulate? What an interesting word.

 

Dear Woman: Yes. It’s like blood clotting, You have so much going on with each other that you turn into a common scab.

 

Dear Man: Honestly, I think that’s the end of that analogy.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, you’re probably right. But if a sexual interest does not have a personal interest which ends up with a mutual interest, you’re going to bounce off to the next piece of heat.

 

Dear Man: You know where I think the problem is? Women get trapped in the idea of being thrilled to be wanted, and men think it’s enough to want.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose it keeps procreation going on, but it certainly is not the climate for a good give-and-take between a man and woman.

 

Dear Man: I’m a woman. It’s not enough to be wanted. That’s what I need to tell my daughters. Many men will want you. You can’t comply simply because it feels good to be told you’re pretty.

 

Dear Woman: And I’m a man. It’s not enough for me just to want. I want–I have this little trigger in the lower part of my body that confirms the necessity. But it doesn’t mean that I should subjugate a woman or that I should make promises I can’t keep.

 

Dear Man: Human sexuality is screwed up, and that’s why gender wars are unleashed, and equality seems impossible.

 

Dear Woman: When I have children, I will teach the girls that it’s not enough to be wanted, and the boys that it’s not enough to want.

 

Dear Man: And I will teach my children the same, and tell them that the only way to ultimately show respect to another person is to make sure, at all junctures, that they are making their own choices.

 

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Peace with the Pieces… March 10, 2013

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piecesIt was odd.

I was suddenly overwhelmed by the notion of my own inadequacy.

Thinking about the sharing I would be doing tomorrow morning at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, I was confronted with my lacking. I am a bald, aging man with limited mobility, who has suffered–or at least struggled–with obesity all my life.

To say that I feel humbled by the notion of offering exhortation, edification or even insight into the lives of others would be an oversimplification of my vacancy. I don’t know whether anybody is worthy to be a voice crying in the wilderness–especially entrusted with the concept of challenging people to “prepare the way of the Lord and make His paths straight.”

Somehow or another it seems prudent for me to straighten some of my own paths before instructing others in path-straightening.

But what does that mean? Am I to sit around and wait until I am a worthy representation of goodness in order to praise goodness, point to goodness or even stand in awe of what goodness can do?

I am pieces, trying to make peace with myself.

I am chunks of what could be a whole, but doesn’t really promise to ever coagulate.

I am an incomplete vessel who really has only one responsibility–don’t lie about my insufficiency. Don’t exaggerate my qualification. And don’t pretend to be anything other than the subtotal of my pieces.

When my knees gave out on me late last year, I thought my time  of speaking in front of audiences and pouring out my heart was over. I honestly did not want to be a disgrace to the kingdom of God through my weakness. I was determined to develop an excuse for escaping my continued participation in the unification of the human spirit with the presence of God by pulling up lame–literally.

Maybe it’s just that I felt stupid. Maybe “wheeling” my way in front of an audience to hobble to my keyboard was just a little too much hyperbole of uselessness.

I don’t know. It wasn’t that I wanted to quit. It just seemed that quitting was an honorable thing. Make room for someone who’s more … whole.

And then I remembered the words that God said to Adam in the Garden when his little buddy was hiding among the fig leaves.

“Why are you hiding?”

“I’m hiding because I’m naked,” said Adam.

“Who told you that you were naked?” asked God.

Yes–who told me I was unworthy? Who told me I was weak and beyond redemption? Who told me that it was time to graze in the grass instead of  shepherding people to greener pastures?

I did.

I decided what was righteous.

I decided what was beautiful.

I decided what was marketable.

God hasn’t worked with me for these many years and seen me crash and bounce to the earth to not allow me to continue to speak my mind.

I’m finding ways to be at peace with my pieces. For after all, being complete is over-rated. When we express our weakness, those around us perceive us as stronger by the confession. When we pronounce our strengths, yet obviously sprout flaws, we are only made weaker by our boasting.

I come to you in pieces, trying to find a way to have peace with them.

You can decide … whether it’s worth hearing.

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One Size Frets All … January 20, 2013

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Jon SigningThe power is in knowing what is common and what is different.

What is common among us all is our humanity. What is different are the many paths we have taken which have tempted us to deny, hide or obscure our commonality.

Maybe you decided to join religion. Basically you were told that “God is mad but He still wants to save you.” That’s enough to make anybody mad at the whole world.

Maybe you joined the Republican Party. You were indoctrinated into believing you were not supposed to kill babies (unless you do it with a gun).

Is your definition of “difference” being a Democrat? That’s where you’re allowed to kill babies, but still raise money to feed the hungry children in faraway lands.

How about a conservative? “Let’s go back to when things were better”–even though most things were worse.

A liberal–let’s go forward blindly without using the common sense of history.

Maybe you’re picking up your check at the corporation. If so, you’ve been told to buy the product and learn to like it.

Did you jump in your car, go out and seek entertainment? Yes, it is a world where Hollywood tells you that THEY’RE the artists–so shut up.

Maybe you bought into the sanctity of family. With tears in your eyes, you proclaim that your particular collection of human beings is everything–until you realize that the world is much bigger than the boundaries of your property.

Have you found your solace in patriotism? “God bless America”–and good luck to everyone else.

In the process of trying to extol uniqueness, we have created single islands that are only linked by rivers of mistrust. So the “one size” that was intended to coagulate us into a bloodline of believers has just succeeded in covering up a series of bigotries which just fester blood feuds.

What will it take for us to understand that every time we alienate ourselves from the world around us and try to make ourselves better than others, we lessen the chance for our own opportunity at success.

NoOne is better than anyone else.

It is the abiding truth that tells us that when we attempt to separate into “birds of a feather,” we stop being able … to fly.

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