Feb 012013
 

Friends . . . I’m in a Lymie Fog this week,  so I have placed myself in receiving mode. I love receiving mode. When I’m in receiving mode it means I have let myself off the hook. I’m not creating anything new –  I’m just reading and breathing and listening and taking it all in. Deep Inhales.

Last night I watched the news. Sigh. All of the not-working-together and trying- to-be-right-instead-of-helpful was tiring. It made me want to put something different out into the polarized world today. Remember this? Progress is possible. It’s harder than arguing, but it’s possible. Miss you, Tim.

 

*******

 

On Thursday morning, Chase and I returned from a mommy/ son overnight date. It was really a let’s get the hell away from the girls who will never ever, ever stop fighting dateIt was awesome. We  played and talked and talked and talked. We splurged on donuts for breakfast and snuggled in bed at night and woke up early for walks on the beach and dolphin sightings. I got to say yes, yes, yes instead of no, no, no all day. We dreamed up a book we’re going to write together. It was perfect. It kind of made me wish I could raise my kids one at a time.

 

 

Exhausted and happy, we boarded the plane for the flight home. Since I just had Chase- no girls- I was envisioning a relaxing, blissful flight.  I would not be breaking up fights or crawling around on the cabin floor trying to find tiny plastic toys the size of my fingernail that someone who really, really hates parents created. It was just Chase and me, happy and relaxed after our trip, ready to curl up with our brand new books.

But the Universe decided that I had had quite enough relaxing, thank you very much.

I wedged myself in the seat next to an older, furious, panicked man who was having trouble sending an email. He was huffing, puffing, moaning, and cursing. He was making all the noises that beg the person next to you to say, “what’s wrong?” But I didn’t say “what’s wrong?” No way, Jose. All I could do was think about how this man’s state of being was a lesson to me. Nothing that can be done over a computer is worth that much angst and stress. Unless one is trying to reach a dying friend, one should not allow a two hour loss of technology to work him up that way. Not healthy. This man’s level of stress was so high that I could FEEL it radiating off of him. Killing my vacay buzz.  I wanted none of it. I kept leaning closer and closer to Chase’s side until half of my body was in his seat. What are youdoing? Chase said. I just love you, I responded. He gave me his “I’m practicing to be a teenager” eye roll.

The man finally shut his laptop. Then he started taking huge, deep breaths. Loud, angry, breaths. But his deep breaths were interrupted by deep, repetitive coughs. Smoker coughs. Loud, jarring coughs that wracked his whole body. I tried to discreetly cover my face with my Monkee sweat shirt.  By now I was basically sitting IN Chase’s lap.

We take off. I start reading.

And he starts.

He starts talking to me, in monologue form, and it is clear right away that he plans to get a few things off of his croupy chest. To me. He is grizzly. He is angry. He is, how shall we say…not my type. Something tells me to close my book and listen anyway.  I resent that Something. But I do. I close my book and look at my new teacher and listen.

This man talked for a full hour before I spoke at all. During this hour I learned that he was a small company owner on his way to DC to tell his employees that he was moving his headquarters out of the country because, according to him, the Obama administration’s new rules had made it impossible for him to stay in the US.

Then, during the next hour, He talked about the poor in sweeping generalizations. He discussed any sort of service program workers or supporters as foolish enablers. He repeated the word fools twenty times. He proclaimed all non-profits to be corrupt money grubbers who hire hookers and buy drugs with donations. He said that liberals would be the ruin of our country. He talked more about his own company, and how liberals hated him and were always trying to put him a box and make him the bad guy. He explained that he’d fight his way out of that box any way he had to. He was a fighter, he said. He spoke loudly and peppered his sentences with curse words.

As God is my witness, I am not making any of this up. Every single thing he said was something that makes my fists clench and heart want to jump out of my throat and onto my lap. Even my beloved Mitchum stopped working. But something told me to stay open. Ride this out. I kept listening.

 

Once Chase leaned over and said, “Why are you arguing?”

Our new friend said, “Son, we’re not arguing, we’re just stating very different opinions in a tense way.” (I still hadn’t said a word.)

“Isn’t that the definition of arguing?” Chase said.

I shot him my best, “I’ve got this and respect your elders even when they think differently than anyone you’ve ever met” look.

 

I took inward deep breaths and shot a twitter prayer up to the G-O-D.

Not subtle with this one, huh? What am I supposed to do with this? Politics? Politics? There are two things I avoid like the plague- politics and real ticks.

Then in the back of my head, I hear. “It has been said to love your friends. But don’t even jerks do that? I say – Love your enemies and those who think differently than you.”

Daaaaaamnnnniiiiiiiittttttt.

In the middle of describing various tax codes he looked at me and said, “Are you following me, here?”

I said, Well, I’m a writer, so I’m not familiar with a lot of this, but I think I’m with you. I’m learning as you talk.

He said, “Oh, a writer. I tried that road once. I tried to do nothing, because my doctor and wife told me I was going to die if I didn’t slow down. So I stopped working and sat on the couch all day. But how much Jerry Springer can you watch, right?”

Right. Well, maybe your doctor didn’t mean for you to go from 100 to 0. Maybe she just wanted you to cruise at 50. Also, as a writer, I don’t do nothing. But you’re right, I have found a way to live without so much stress.

Right, right, that’s not what I meant,” he said.

I know, I said. Stay open, the Something said. Stay open. Ride this out.

At one point the man took a breath, looked sideways at me and said, “You’re a liberal, aren’t you.”

I said, I try not to label myself, because I don’t want to shut down conversations. Right now I’m just a person trying to understand you.

“Oh you’re definitely a liberal,” he said.

When he started back in on non-profits and how they were all money grubbing thieves, I said,You know, I run a group like a non-profit, and we give back 100 percent of what we raise. No overhead. We all work for free.

He raised his eyebrow and didn’t respond for a minute.

He looked out the airplane window. He was remembering something. His tirade stopped. His voice changed a little.

Then he turned back and said, “I haven’t given a penny away for fifteen years. I used to. Every Christmas I used to buy ten turkeys and deliver them to the homeless shelter myself.  But I don’t do that anymore. I don’t give anything away anymore.”

What changed? I said.

He looked out the window again and I thought- HERE we go. HERE we go- here comes the real stuff. Here politics die and the person behind them introduces himself.

Scruffy angry man said, “When my daughter was little, we left a candle burning in our house and the whole house burned down. With all of our things. We had nothing. We lived in our car for seven months with our daughter and no one reached out to help us. Not our neighbors, not our families, friends. Not even our church. No one.”

God. That must have been awful.

“It was. But I eventually found work and I pulled us out of there on my own.”

That’s amazing. Still. Don’t you wish someone had reached out to you?

“Well, they didn’t.”

I know, but doesn’t a part of you really wish they had?

“No. We’re fine. I pulled us out of there and I turned out perfectly fine.”

Here is where I couldn’t help but stop the conversation and give scruffy angry man my face. I can’t describe it so here it is. I used to be able to appear much more skeptical but you know, all the Botox.

 

 

“What??” He said defensively. Then he laughed.  ”What?”

You’re perfectly fine? Not a teeny bit hard hearted, friend?

Scruffy man laughed again. Hard this time. Hard enough that his whole body shook again.Thank you. baby Jesus, I thought.

“Maybe a little,” he said,  “Maybe a little.”

I walked through this heavenly door of laughter and I told him that I was glad he’d told me his story. I told him that I usually did lean to the left and so I didn’t often have a chance to hear the stories of folks on the other side. I told him I understood a lot of where he was coming from, and I do. Being a small business owner, from my friend Tim’s point of view, is a very tough gig these days, and maybe always.

“I’m not a bad guy.They are always making me out to be a bad guy. I’m not.”

I know, I said. I’m one of the “theys,” most days, and I don’t think you’re a bad guy.

Then I asked if he’d do me a favor. I told him that I’d keep his story in my head and heart if he’d consider changing one teeny part of the way he spoke. The alls. The mosts. I told him the generalizations were killing me. All the poor, Most of the non-profits, all the democrats, every single liberal.  It discredits you a little, I said. Weakens your arguments.

Then I told him about the poor people who were the parents of the kids at the school where I taught. How many of them worked 24 hours straight and then came into my classroom, blurry-eyed, to hear about the children for whom they’d sacrificed everything.

Illegals? He said.

No, friend. Or maybe so. But do you understand what I’m saying? We can’t say all or most. We just can’t.

He nodded. “I hear you. I’ll stop saying all. But I might stick with most.”

Okay, I said. A compromise. I love compromises.

Then he said, “Give me the name of your non-profit. I’ll look it up.”

I squealed and clapped like a seal. He rolled his eyes and stuck his finger down his throat like he was gagging. But it was definitely an affectionate gag.

As I wrote our website on his work folder,  I told him about our Love Flash Mobs. About how we send money to hurting people to let them know we care.

He said, “Why the hell do you send them money? Why money?”

It’s not about the money. It’s about what the money represents-  love, care for a stranger, sacrifice.

More gagging. “How much you send them?”

Last time we raised 80 thousand dollars in six hours. All kinds of people gave. Conservatives, liberals. People like you. Actually, I don’t know if there are any other people like you.

Laughter and huge eyes. “80k? And you gave it all away??

 Yep. I know.

“Well, if it’s not about the money, you should just send them a card. Have all your “people” sign it and send a goddamn card. I’ll even give you $2.50 for the card. I wouldnta done that before this conversation, I’ll tell you that. I don’t get you, but the world needs people like you and your monks or whatever the hell you call them.”

I looked at him and said - I wish we were around when you were stuck in your car.

“Well you weren’t, and we were fine.”

 I know, I still wish though.

“Yeah.”

Then I went in for the love kill.

Look at us, friend. We did it. We made it through two hours. I learned a little about you, you learned a little about me. The rightiest and the leftiest. Maybe in the whole WORLD. We didn’t yell, You taught me a lot.

“You taught me a little.”

I’ll take it. Tim, can I get a picture?

“No. hell no. You’re just gonna put it on that Mama’s Tree of yours.”

True. That’s what I was going to do. Well let me at least shoot this, so I can prove this really happened. That the rightest right man and the leftiest left girl sat together on a plane and said all of our things and learned from each other. And made friends.

 

 

Tim said – “I’ve never made friends with a goddamn liberal before.”

I am proud to be your first goddamn liberal friend, Tim. And I want you to know that I can see how upset you are about your company, and this upcoming meeting, and the country, and I’m rooting for you.  Just treat them like people, not issues, Tim. And you must start sleeping more. And you gotta quit smoking, Tim. We’ve gotta take you down 6 million notches.

“I know. You’re right,” he said.”Good luck with your book and all of  your giving people’s hard earned money away.”

Thank you Tim, I appreciate it.

“Write down your book’s name too. I’m going to order it as soon as it comes out.”

Thank you, Tim. I hope you like it.

And then we HUGGED. We HUGGED.

 

On the cab ride home I thought: our world views usually come from the world we’ve experienced, not from the goodness of our hearts. If you’ve experienced the world as loving and generous – that is how you will live, in abundance. But if you’ve experienced the world as uncaring and cold, then it only makes sense that you will continue to live with that world view.

It’s really why we need to take care of each other. Listen to each other. Undig our heels. Surprise each other. We really do.

 

Tim- thank you for teaching me so much. You are in my prayers. For real. Not just saying that.

Love and Peace,

Glennon- the goddamn liberal from Mama’s Tree

 

Post Script: Tim reached out to me and we’ve exchanged emails. He wasn’t sure whether he liked this article or not, but his wife loved it and laughed her way through it. She said  she couldn’t believe he told me about their house fire, because he’d never told anyone before. Tim asked for my address so he could send Monkee See -Monkee Do some cash. It was his first donation since the fire. I still send Twitter prayers for Tim daily. 



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  101 Responses to “Middle Place?”

  1. What’s up, its nice article concerning media print,
    we all know media is a wonderful source of facts.

  2. God Bless America, that was beeee-yootiful.

  3. Amazing grace….

  4. WOW! I LOVE the Tim and G (and Chase) story. Sometimes you read things that can change your life. Thank you G & Tim (Bless your hardened with a soft center heart Tim, I want to give you the biggest hug EVER you helped me understand my Dad in a way no one has before) Your conversation and story may have just helped me have the father/daughter relationship I have always wanted with my Dad. Fingers crossed. Tim much resembles my father and G you and I are have A LOT of history and beliefs in common(yikes..I know, but it’s what comes out of the yikes that counts..right?) = very strained and not able to relate relationship between my Dad and I. I am going to be open and listen and try to learn about the man behind the opinions and beliefs. G…thank you for sharing your candid honesty, love, and the unique gift of writing. You are giving invaluable gifts every single day to me and so many people.
    KC

  5. Oh, wow. . . That post is so touching, so heartwarming. To see a person open up is a beautiful thing. You have shown that we can’t learn if we aren’t open to others. What a terrible thing that no one reached out to him in his time of need.

  6. I needed to read this – oh, to have such patience and grace!

  7. Awesome. Love it.

  8. I do believe this song was written for you. Carry on, G, you’re changing the world.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7yCLn-O-Y0

  9. That’s what I call walking the talk. Awesome experience.

  10. Thank you so much for this post. I find myself in a some group that meets weekly with my own “Tim”. I am praying to have your grace and wisdom to help me when I interact with “Tim”.

  11. I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes. Thank you for this. How beautiful and just the lesson I need. To stop and listen. God Bless you (and Tim)!

  12. Last night I began reading The Celestine Prophecy, the first insight, there are no coincidences. This morning from a FB share on my daughter’s page I’m directed to your post on Friendly Fire, I decide to read a little more, and then this amazing story appears! Yep, no coincidences just got reaffirmed! No coincidence you were on that plane next to Tim! No coincidence I started reading that book and then clicked on your blog when I would normally pass it by. No coincidence your story reaffirmed that there are no coincidences! I loved this story!

  13. So glad you stayed open and rode it out…After this contentious (to put it mildly) election season, we do so need to work hard to remember that “they” are “us” in important ways. Great story.

  14. Loved this! Such a great lesson for me to stop and listen to people you know you’ll disagree with; but more importantly to tell your own story and not just shut down because someone is making you uncomfortable.

  15. Sweet Mutha of God! I know you don’t post this stuff for pats-on-the-back … but i’m having a serious “I want to be Glennon” moment. Thanks for rocking our world. I love you!

  16. No words. This made my heart so full. I love it. And I love being a Monkee.

  17. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. So much so that I just reposted it on Facebook. I wish you lived in South Florida, because I really think you and I’d be friends. :)

  18. Love this post…thanks for sharing and for being open to Tim. Great reminder that I should be more open to people. You just never know where they are coming from…

  19. Wow, I knew I liked your blog. This is a powerful post. Imagine if everyone took your approach to handling people…. would be a very different place no doubt.

  20. This made my heart happy the first time I read it. It made my heart soar today. The world is just a fantastic place when we look for the good in it…even when it is hidden behind a lot of anger and self loathing. I need to remind myself of this daily so that I quit feeling tempted to put my children in a bubble away from this hard, rough world. They just need to be taught to seek the good, like you do Glennon!!!

    xoxo

  21. This story put the BIGGEST smile on my face this morning. Because this is really what it is all about. About people connecting with people and realizing that in spite of our differences – we are really at the core so similar. Thank you so much for handling it the way you did and for being so patient. It was absolutely a lesson to me in so many ways.

  22. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”
    ~Abraham Lincoln

  23. Gennon (and Tim)

    I’ll be praying for you both and I’ll continue to donate to MSMD! I’m not buying one book, I’m buying 10 because I have many friends just like Tim, who need the softness that Momastery offers. Keep up the great work BOTH of you…and hey Tim, thanks for the donation! ;-)

  24. Like a lot of posters, this was the first post I read a while back. I love it, and I love what reading this has gotten for me – the joy of helping a family out this past Christmas with food and clothes, sending money for Sandy victims, helping a school for special needs kids with some needed supplies, helping a family get a needed van. Amazing what I’VE gotten out of this experience – so much more than what I’ve given :)

  25. Loved it then. Love it now.

    Prayers for healing Glennon. You are just one person and have given so much. The Holy Spirit will lead you in your writing when the time is right. And in the meantime, you can post more pics of your very cute husband messaging your piggies or cooking a meal. I think I can speak on behalf of monks everywhere… We don’t hate it when you post those pics!!”-)

  26. This was the first post of yours I read when I was 1st introduced to Momastery & I just LOVE it… It’s the way I would like to respond in a situation like the one you found yourself in. Thank you for reminding me that we are in control of how we respond to our lessons.

  27. What a great story! The more I read and hear and stress about the “divide” the more I think that what we really need is civil dialogue between people with opposing views. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we can’t understand where the other is coming from. I think understanding each other and seeing that most people truly are decent people just out to do try and do what they feel is best for the world and their families would do a lot to help with many of our most challenging issues.

    Tim, I give you a lot of credit for opening up and listening. It is very hard to see things from another point when the world has handed you a basket of rotten eggs and you have learned how to guard against that type of pain. I hope for your family and your health that you continue to try and see the world from the other perspective. You don’t have to agree, but understand that us stinkin liberals also want the world to be a better place and we want what is best for our kids. We just have different ideas on how to get there. I wish you all the best with your company.

  28. I was diagnosed with Lyme in September 2000….spent 4 yrs in treatment, and now consider myself in “remission”…I avoid ticks like the plague, too. it’s just something you incorporate into your life without a 2nd thought, most days. Seems to me, MIssy, you are using what life has thrown you (getting bit by an effing tick(s) and dealing just fine. I doubt lyme will be eradicated in our lifetime. it’s all I can do to keep my now young adult sons from venturing forth into where ticks are….and getting bit themselves. Even tho we have all been diagnosed with this horrid disease, we all seem to be healthy.

    I hope you are able to keep the writing up, even in the foggiest of fogs….word finding was one of my challenges early on…I was so distressed, because I felt I had a way with words. I felt that was being taken away from me. I don’t know if it’s come back, because it’s been so long since I felt the magical turn of words come forth from either my mouth, or my fingers. I see your words here, and I am delighted that you do not seem to have this affliction (at this time!) Your story was perfect. Hit me in a way that I thought “brilliant! perfect!”.

    Maybe this is the gift that lyme is giving you? Who knows?

  29. Just be open. Just keep trying. And send up a little twitter prayer. I love this!

  30. Your conversation & the outcome shows me there is hope for this world. Thank you for sharing.

  31. Very important lesson for me here. I would have gotten annoyed, bristled, wound up, dug in and shredded this guy. Both of us would have ended up stressed, offended, furious and ignorant of the others viewpoint. Which, of course, are all secrets to building bridges and strengthening the bonds between one another. Not. Thanks G. You lead by example and I am grateful.

  32. Oh my god, I LOVE you! You’re the BEST! Love this story so much! Think how many opportunities we all miss on a daily basis because we can’t be bothered taking the time to interact with a stranger. I decided the other day that my goal for 2013 is to try and BE love wherever I go, whoever I meet, no matter what happens. Thanks for the inspiration as always x x

  33. That was amazing!! So proud of you for listening to your instincts and not shoving them aside as most would. what a shining example you were for your son at that moment!! Nice job Mama….keep it up!

  34. Oh my gosh Glennon! I love this more than you will ever know. Thanks for making my day.

    And that last part you added, about him never telling anyone about the house fire, it made me tear up. I need to remember to be more open-hearted and really listen. Because everyone has their story and each story is important. What we see on the outside isn’t usually what is on the inside. People are inherently good. They just are.

  35. I can’t help but see the similarities between you and Cindy-Lou Who and Tim and the Grinch – his heart grew 3 sizes that day.

    Nice Job!

  36. Love the update on Tim. Love that story.

  37. Loved the update! Go, Tim!

  38. I’ve dabbled on your page, been impressed by the Monkee’s and overall known just a little bit about you and your family. The exact amount I’m comfortable knowing about anyone.

    Yet, something about this post has me bent over bawling my eyes out. Maybe the Lyme Disease comment in the beginning. I had Lyme for most of my life, it never goes away does it? I know that Lyme Fog. I know addiction. And I know a little about Jesus (I went to a Christian College but you can unlearn a lot when you are surrounded by it).

    Anyway just, thank you. This story about Tim, the way your patience softened him up, it is so moving. I have tears dripping from my chin and I can’t logically explain why. I’m so glad to have found your space on the internet, your words are dusting off my tired heart.

  39. i loved this the first time, and i loved it just as much the second time!!! i’m so excited to hear that he read it! AND that he donated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! TIM, if you’re reading this, just know that we all love you! and if your family ever struggles again, WE will be here to lift you up! xox

  40. And…..what a delightful exchange for your son to witness.

  41. You kept in touch with Tim? He sent money! Wow! That is really awesome. He sounds like he is probably a cuddly bear at heart. I love that his wife loved the story. Tim sounds like my husband, in that he will not ask for help. My husband helps so many others yet HE will not ask himself (so I do it). To hell with pride. Life is short and I’m getting old. Anyway, what I am getting at is Tim made a really, really big step. Hi Tim! Hope you are reading! I want to hear how his company is doing. Hope he didn’t have to move.

  42. I’m so glad you, and people like you, are in the world, Glennon. You inspire me to listen more, and to try to understand more. I love how you listened to God’s voice in your head, and how you used humor to diffuse the situation. Your writing is exquisite.

    Tim, I give you huge credit for being willing to open up and listen, too. I pray you don’t have to take your company oversees, and that you are finding success.

    Bless you both.

  43. Ah, I see – this is an oldie but goodie (emphasis on the GOOD). I loved this story – SO MOVING.

    I am always moved by people getting out of their comfort zones in the name of human connection. When people cross barriers – whether they are gender, racial, religious, political, etc – even slightly, that touches something deep within me. When people peel off even one layer to reveal their deeper selves, I JUST LOVE IT!

    So thank you for living and sharing this wonderful story!

  44. My word for 2013 is Gentleness. Thank you for this reminder, once again, of what Gentleness looks like when faced with…. well, non-gentleness…. and the reminder that a Gentle Answer truly can turn away Wrath.
    WWJD, personified.
    Thank you, G.

  45. Well, this story is new to me and, on the off chance that Tim ever reads the comments…..Tim, I am sending you a hug. I don’t believe in “chance encounters” but I do believe that God will use each and every opportunity to foster love among His people. And we are all His peeps!

    LOVE this post!

  46. Goosebumps. The power of an open heart and mind.

  47. How funny – I was remembering this story just yesterday! I don’t remember why. Maybe the stereotypes all over the news on both sides.

  48. I too have been not only the ranter but also the confrontational listener… Even if I manage to bite my tongue….the talker oh so knows I have issues with his message…. I am working on it….

  49. Holy Cow! What a God thing! It’s awesome that you were able to sit and listen to that still small voice telling you to keep sitting and keep listening!

    I think that poor guy is so scared that “those liberals” are going to take away everything he’s earned and put his family back in that car. That’s the thing about being poor at some point in life– once you move past you want to hold on so tightly with both fists to try to ensure you never go back there again.

  50. ahh! I LOVE this. You nailed it. People learn what they live and i think Tim is a little bit softer because of that plane ride. My heart aches for him and his family- having to experience such a tragedy is one thing- but experiencing it alone- completely different. :( Adding myself to the list of people crossing their fingers for tim :)
    Thanks for your words. brilliant!

  51. Hah! Well done you.

  52. I remember this, Glennon! What a great story and commentary on your stick-to-itveness with lovingkindness. One bird at a time, friends, one bird at a time!
    Much love. Think of you every day!
    Cookie

  53. Hah. The book comes out in a few months. Tim is gonna FUH-REAK. :-D

  54. Amazing goodness done by you! This comes from a “conservative” who is often annoyed by “liberals.” lol Though I wouldn’t compare myself with Tim, I sympathize with him. His anger, his hurt, his sense of betrayal. Feeling attacked, he goes on the attack. Surely he doesn’t want to be that way but doesn’t know how to change. It’s the way so many of us are, whatever label we identify with. Too many people say they want peace but don’t put any elbow grease into it. They stop trying when it gets hard or challenges the beliefs in which all their identity and pride are wrapped. Thank you Glennon. You set an example for me today.

  55. Such a good reminder to love the people around me, and not just try to fix them.

  56. So good. So good. I loved it the first time but it was just what I needed today.

    I’ll pray for Tim this morning, and for you too, Glennon.

  57. Your “thoughts” during the cab ride home sums it up so well! Definitely a quotable paragraph that I’m gonna post on Facebook!

  58. You are amazing. Such an inspiration!

  59. Don’t stop when life starts to get uncomfortable. Hebrews (12:1) I just read that verse this morning and then your blog popped up. What a wonderful, wonderful lesson we can all learn from your story. I’m rooting for Tim, too. And will send up many prayers hoping he continues to carry your light with him.

  60. Sometimes receiving is harder to do than giving. I’m very happy that you are in receiving mode right now. Stay as long as you need to be there.

    Love the post script about Tim!

  61. I loved this story the first time you wrote it and I love it just as much today. Thank you for posting it again! I also love that Tim wrote to you and how his wife loved the post.

  62. thank you, thank you, thank you. hadn’t read this one before, but it’s so, so helpful as I sit here trying to be patient for the sermon I’ve been laboring over for Sunday. it’s all about the relationships & the stories.

  63. Thank you so much for the Post Script! Since the first time I read this post, I’ve wondered how Tim, his family, and his company are doing. I’m grateful that you reposted this and added more information. I’ll pray for Tim, and all the Tims out there, today.

  64. One of my faves, then and now! Enjoy being in receiving mode!

  65. Good story. I remember working with a woman I just couldn’t stand. Her husband had a philosophy about people: If he didn’t like a person, that was reason to get to know them better. (No wonder he married her!) I think of that still, close to 15 years later, his comment. “When I met a person I don’t like I know I just need to get to know them better.”

  66. you can put this one on repeat all week : )

    i’ve been in a news-induced grumpy mood, maybe weather too. time to shut out all news sources except Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood :) and time to find the good stuff and make the good stuff happen.

  67. Beautiful story – thank you for passing on the lessons. Love sure does break down the defenses of anger and bitterness, doesn’t it. I will take this with me and try to replace defensiveness and irritation with love.

  68. This is one of my favorite posts of yours, G. And if you ever need a break from all the writing, I still think hosting a seminar entitled, “How To Talk To People The Way Jesus Would” is a great idea.

  69. This is the first time I’ve read this and now I’m even more in awe of you. I think I will read it many more times because I really need this lesson. Thank you.

  70. Tim, Love Wins. Every time. All the time. We weren’t there when your house burnt down, but we’re here now. Maybe now is more important than the then.

  71. Glennon- this is fantastic. It is amazing to me how God works, how He puts us in places that are uncomfortable and even “yucky” for the greater good. You changed Tim’s life on that flight, that is evident. The Monkey love chipped away at his hard heart. Sounds like you are the only one who ever listened to him, maybe not just listened but heard him. God has you moving mountains G, one jagged rock at a time.

  72. One of my very favorites here at Momastery!

  73. This is awesomeness, as my 10yo would say!

  74. This may be an “oldie” to everyone else, but for me, I’m reading for the first time. You know, last year I gave myself a huge goal – and it was all based on learning compassion. But even after all I went through last year, I don’t know if I would have had the conversation you did.

    My nature is to fight back. He would have said what he did, and I would have argued. I wouldn’t have listened. This post shows me I still have a long way to go on my quest for an open heart.

    • Me too Andee. I think we often forget there is a lot of charm in listening. While we may each say direr rent things….we can always glean a few truths from an opposing opinion.

  75. I’ve always loved the Tim story too — because sometimes I’ve been Tim — full of the alls and the mosts and resentful that the people who don’t think like me do the same darn thing with their alls and their mosts and if they’d just LISTEN to me, we’d all make some progress.

    Sigh. Thank you, G, again for helping me remember that every single soul is precious to God.

    And I’m with the folks who want to order Tim’s book for him. Maybe if a bunch of us do, he’ll have copies to give away. Wouldn’t that just blow his Mama’s Tree?

  76. What an awesome story. Definitely brought tears to my eyes :)

  77. Praying for nothing but good things for Tim and his family from now on. I’m a goddamn liberal, too – a proud one! I respect his thoughts and opinions and sincerely hope that his life experiences give him a different perspective from here on out. I hope that his heart feels full and happy after he writes that check. Blessings upon you, Tim and Glennon!

  78. One of my favorites. How can we get a copy to every member of Congress?

  79. I will love this one every time you publish it. Monthly would be fine! I need it. Thanks for listening to the Voice and to Tim. You taught us something, too.

    • I love this one too. I have shared it with those who remind me a bit of Tim.

      I’m so glad you are allowing yourself to be in receiving mode. It reminds me of something I have thought about before but never put out there/here.
      What if ALL the Monkees and FAMs (“fans of Momastery”) who are so inclined,
      prayed/sent positive thoughts & energy in your direction with the intent of HEALING your Lyme?
      I would so love to witness the power of collective prayer in that way.
      Could we do it? I don’t know but it sure wouldn’t hurt to try.

      So anyone who’s in please join me in praying for healing today.
      Let healing flow and “Lyme and Co.” leave.
      I really hope you feel some waves of healing washing over you today G.
      No matter what, you know you have our love. <3

      • Loved that thought! Here was my prayer: Lord please heal Glennon from what afflicts her so she can continue to open our hearts doors a little wider to welcome one another and you into our hearts. (That’s what momastery does for me. It helps me open my heart’s doors a little wider with every post or picture shared.)

  80. That made me cry…so sad that there are people out there desperately in need of help…with no one to reach out to them. So thankful for all of the Monkees out there and all that they do, especially you, Glennon.

    There are many times I have to stop myself from reacting in the “typical way” when someone frustrates me or acts in a way that I don’t like. I try to take a deep breath (even if it’s just an in my head deep breath) and remember that I don’t know what everyone else is going through and that all they may need is a little compassion and a friendly smile. It can open a door that they never knew existed.

    Going to spend the day practicing this..first at work then at home with my teenagers, who have been driving me bat-shit crazy lately. I’ll just remind myself to breathe. Over and over again.

  81. I love this even more the second time around. I so hope you get to feeling better soon.

  82. Thanks for sharing this again. I loved it the first time and I love it again.

  83. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the oldie-but-goodie. This was the first Momastery post I’d ever read, and I was instantly hooked. I am a much more closed-minded liberal than you, and this post is very inspirational to me. My parents are conservative, and my father periodically sends me emails trying to convince me that gay marriage will destroy society (I’m a married straight gal so it’s not personal), and I really really hate him sometimes. I’m inspired by your open-mindedness, but I haven’t achieved it yet myself.

    I am so happy to hear the follow-up too.

  84. This is such an awesome story. Thank you. I needed that, today.

  85. Glennon, this is my favorite thing I’ve ever read of yours. Ever. I was in tears by the end — ok, this is partly because I have the impossible task of choosing just ONE dog to bring home to foster from Philly Animal Control today and I don’t know how I’m going to leave the rest of those sweet creatures behind, but your post was also a factor. ; )

    And this: “Something tells me to close my book and listen anyway. I resent that Something. But I do. I close my book and look at my new teacher and listen.” This is perfect. May we all have the grace and wisdom to look at our new teachers, in whatever form they show up, and listen. Lovely, lovely way to start my day & remind myself of how I want to be in the world.

    Keep it coming, sister.
    Gabrielle

  86. Loved this! And if Tim hasn’t pre ordered his copy of the book yet, I’ll send him one!

  87. this story was my first exposure to you and i was in awe reading it. then i was hooked and read more. finally a place with people who believed in what i do – goodness, love and that if people help each other out the world really WILL be better. i’ve had a lot of people over time who have chided me for my optimism, people have called me a pollyanna and derided my attitude. but it’s the one thing i’ve never changed for anyone because that’s the one part i’ve always liked about me. and the funny thing is – i’ve only ever had one person walk away from a friendship with me over it.

    what most people don’t see is my ongoing struggle with depression. what they don’t know is that i’ve not had an easy entitled life and as a child i saw and lived through situations that i wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and a serious abuse situation in university with a partner. i’m this way because i’ve been there (not because i’ve been sheltered) and believe that i’ve been put on this earth for some very good reasons one i believe that is to guide after i’ve been through something.

    i’ve shared your posts countless times and shared your site with people that need it. i’ve had people come back and thank me for sending them your way, so i have to thank you. it’s wonderful to see the postscript to the story – every little change in the world helps :)

    may your day be wonderful!!!!!

    • This post was also my first time learning about Glennon and Momastery. I’ve been an avid follower ever since. I read it all the way through again just now and felt a renewed sense of purpose. Think of how we could change the world if each of us connected like. It is so much easier to stay closed up and safe but that’s not our purpose. That’s not why we are here. Thank you. I feel so grateful to have found this amazing group of women, an ever expanding group. You inspire me and keep me going. We can do hard things! YES!

  88. This middleist middle girl lives it when the right and left hug. Nice work, Glennon!

  89. Wow…crying…just beautiful…

  90. I have always loved the story of Tim. Sigh.

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