Friday, January 23, 2009

A Moment Past

In the summer of 2000, I was eleven years old and taking part in a mission trip with the church that my family and I used to attend. There is a moment from that trip that seems to be coming to mind frequently in the last several weeks.

I keep remembering a particular conversation that I had with a friend of mine during that trip. It seemed like a strange question for her to ask me, and more than a little morbid. What she wanted to know is if I were to die, what three people was I certain would be at my funeral.
Looking back at how the conversation played out, I now realize the whole purpose of my response was to gauge our friendship. I was supposed to give a particular answer, which became obvious when I failed to give it. I didn’t include her in the list.

Now, I’m almost certain when she pointed this out to me I made up your standard excuses. You know, like “Well of course you would be there, I assumed that was a given since you asked the question…”. But the point is, I didn’t include her in the list. Which looking back is interesting. (Though I would like to point out, at the time the failure to include her was unintentional.)

The context you would need to know, in order to see why this is interesting, is that three or four years after this conversation my family left that church due to unrelated reasons. Also, she was the pastor’s grand-daughter and from Ohio, so the only time we ever talked or were in contact was over the summer.

Needless to say we lost contact years ago. So did I know on some level that she wouldn’t be at my hypothetical funeral? Maybe, possibly I realized on some level that we weren’t that close. I do remember however, listing off my two best friends. They were on that list, and they would still be on that list, and interestingly enough she still wouldn’t be.

Looking at this moment as opposed to so many moments in the past, I see some clarity. For once I’m not looking back and realizing how wrong I used to be. It’s not a moment in time that I look at and think of how na├»ve I was. For once it’s an opportunity to look at my past beliefs and see that some things really do never change.

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