Monday, July 5, 2010

Chapter Sixteen
: Distant Duo

The following week was a blur, and we continued to do our study on our own each night. Before I knew it, it was Thursday night and time for him to come over. I was not as nervous this time, but my heart was definitely pounding.

As he walked through the door this time, he said “hey”, went straight into the living room and sat down as he sat his Bible on the table. I knew he didn’t want to do it in the kitchen again….with my mom in there with us, so I took the hint and asked him if he wanted something to eat and drink. He followed me into the kitchen and he grabbed some fruit and I fixed him some iced water. He was a healthy boy. He loved fruit and smoothies. I loved cookies and coke. I was a bad influence on him.

We walked back into the living room and he plopped down on the couch while I strolled behind him. “CRUD,” I thought to myself. “Where am I supposed to sit?” I had an internal conversation and I asked myself a thousand questions. “Do I sit next to him? Do I sit in a chair beside him? Do I sit on the other couch? Do I sit on the floor or the piano bench or the back porch? Where on earth do I sit?” I wanted to be the one to sit first so I could give him the option of choosing his spot. Will he think I’m too forward if I sit on the same couch? Will he think I’m crazy if I sit anywhere else? What do I do, oh what do I do? I panicked and sat on the opposite couch. Clear on the other side of the room. It was as if he was in Boston and I, in San Francisco. We had to nearly shout to discuss anything. I clenched my bible and smiled at him with my eyes as far open as they would stretch, as if everything was completely normal. He looked at me with the strangest look on his face, tilted his head and said, “why are you way over there?” I replied with the all too clever, “I don’t know.” I don’t know? Great one, Whitney. He told me it would be easier for us to sit on the same couch so that we didn’t have to yell and so we could read out of the same Bible. He told me to come on over, and so I did.

And I sat on the opposite side of the couch. On the last cushion.

He scooted more toward the middle and looked at me as if I were some kind of deranged monkey who is banned from personal contact of any kind. I was red and sweating profusely at this point and he ever so gently said, “let’s start in prayer”.

Whew. That was the ultimate calming weapon. Prayer. We bowed our heads and as hard as I tried to focus on what he was saying and offering up my own prayers, I couldn’t. All I could think about was how I didn’t want to ever hear “amen”, because that meant more opportunity for humiliation.

The impending “amen” sounded and we looked up and at each other. He was smiling, probably at how absolutely retarded I had been acting and I was trying to read his every thought and move. I was way too analytical.

He continued on and made the evening entirely less awkward and scary than I imagined. He brought out some awesome points to the study that I had not noticed and seemed to gain some insight from me as well. I was nervous discussing intelligent things with Darin because he was so….well, intelligent. I was very scared that I was going to use the wrong word at the wrong time or say something that made me sound completely dumb. He was extremely intimidating to me in that area, and it is not that he came off as a know-it-all or anything; it’s just that I knew how smart he was. And I knew how ditzy and off-the-wall I can be.

It was awesome to me to see him jotting things down that I had said or brought to light, because it made me feel like I was on his level. Respected, in a way. I am not sure why I was so intimidated, or why I had him on such a pedestal for his knowledge. I was a straight A student and very knowledgeable in the Word of God, but I just did not imagine we would be learning so much from each other. He was just as interested in my views as I was his, and I just was not used to someone being that intrigued with me or that interested in my thoughts. It took a while for me to adjust to, and after I cleared the hump of inferiority, I was able to push forth without holding back. It was then, that Darin really started to respect me. And it was then that he really wanted to know more of me. These Bible studies were clearly an amazing thing for us both….in more ways than one.

We continued our Bible study effortlessly and finished twelve weeks later. A lot happened during those twelve weeks. We grew to know and understand one another on an entirely different and greater level than before. We shared with one another burdens, prayer requests, insights and what the Lord was doing in each of our lives individually. We shared our “gleanings” as we called them, and challenged each other deeply. On top of our study, we were also still doing the Marriage Without Regrets study on Monday nights with the other Juniors and Seniors, so we were together, in Bible studies, twice a week. I was given a glimpse into the heart of Darin and I loved what I was seeing. I loved what God was revealing. I had never grown spiritually, together, with a boy before. It was a unique experience, but one that I saw as vital to any relationship. It was hard, confusing, challenging and difficult, but it was a time that brought so much growth, in both our relationships with the Lord and with one another. We ended the study of Covenant with such a great understanding and firm grasp on Jesus Christ, the ultimate Sacrifice and sign of Covenant – and God’s promise to us as believers. We learned the old customs, the symbolism and the distinct vitality of a Covenant relationship. We finished thirsty for more…..

So we ordered a new study to do together. It was about Abraham, the Friend of God.