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Dear Friend,

I’m about to leave for my weekly faith discussion group (Which, I recognize, I still haven’t caught you up on) but I wanted to talk to you about my crazy week thus far. You see I’ve been doing a lot of faith related thinking lately. Not only this discussion group, but catechism and, the joy of talking to those around me about faith. This past weekend I went to see Brandon Habron’s play “Faith, Hope, Love, or Something Like That…” and let me tell you, it was excellent! I loved how he approached homosexuality through not only a faith lens, but a love lens. It was so powerful to hear his story, and the stories of other displayed in his production. One aspect that had caught me off guard was how relevant parts of the story were to stories other than homosexuality. At one point I remember thinking “that’s how you should approach pain”. It wasn’t with judgement, or even that idea of “Talk to me!!!” It was just being present. It amazes me how being willing to sit in silence, and not giving up on a person because you don’t get a response or overflow of sharing. This has been a hard lesson for me, personally, to learn. I know that I truly want to hear and listen to people’s stories, but sometimes… er, many times, I forget that they don’t know/understand why I’m interested in their story. This year I’ve been trying to get better at communicating with others, letting them know that I care, and want to listen, but I’ve also been trying to get better at being patient. I need to be okay when people don’t share their life story with me… after all, it’s not like I share my pain with anybody and everybody! This patience is important when my curiosity is trying to get the best of me… sometime’s I want to know someone’s story, to understand what is going on inside their head, but I have to remind myself not to go snooping. I don’t want to hear about someone secondhand! I want them to come to me, and talk to me because they trust me with their story… otherwise knowing the story has no value. I’m also realizing that I need to be better at trusting others too. I want to be better at communicating my pain, and my frustrations… after all how can I expect people to trust me, if I don’t trust them?

Lots of Love, Mandi Jo