Monday, September 19, 2005

Adult Hoarding

"Maaaa! She's not sharING!!!"

"Tell your big sister to share."

Kids are rather vocal when friends don't share. Us adults just keep our screams in our heads when it comes to our hoarding friends, in deference to privacy, individualism, and just plain old fear. It's cool when friends share the good news, the feel good stuff, but not so cool when they also believe that friends in need are friends to be avoided, and so keep the "bad news" to themselves in fear of being rejected or it being used against them. If they think you'll be sharing the dreaded sensitive news, they'll do the rejecting and run. Not pick up the phone. Not return calls. Not call you until they think it's safe. In a "weak" moment, such friends, ready to bust, will share a tiny bit of bad news. Then leave you hanging as they disappear for weeks or months, reappearing when life is filled with glad tidings, the bad news forgotten in the dust of time. They hope.

Jesus tells his disciples that "I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father." (John 15: 15) Everything. He held nothing back. Our relationship with God and how Jesus relates to us is meant to be a model of how we conduct our own lives, but many North Americans ignore this wise example by refusing to share of themselves. Even if we don't believe in God, what does hoarding our inner selves get us anyway? Loneliness. And ulcers.

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