Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stranger Things Have Happened--Rethought

Since I've got a treacherous relationship with modesty, Page gave me Beloved Bridegroom a book about ancient Jewish marriage customs and ceremonies. That ties in together in a way that I don't have time to explain right now, but maybe later? I don't know, book reviews are not major players in my repertoire.

So anyway repertoire is a hard word to spell.

Right click. Correct.

In the chapter explaining feasts (my favorite so section far, who knew that bread was considered sacred? me too) there is a line that explains why the Jews of antiquity were compelled to take in and feed strangers ". . . every stranger potentially carried a divine message."

Every stranger potentially carried a divine message.

The idea was an answer to my on-going (as on-going as my perplexity with modesty) quest to find a way to connect with others. Even those I don't know, or don't want to know, including those I do.

And unlike the Jews who were eager to invite a stranger in, I feel it necessary to explain why I don't feel the same. My greatest fear sometimes is having to listen to people, on the phone, on the airplane, at parties or anywhere. It's not that I don't like other's ideas because if I like to read letters and emails. The occurrence of face-to-face exchange is sometimes very uncomfortable to me. It just isn't my preferred way of communication.

(You really wouldn't like to be my next door neighbor. Just ask my next door neighbor.)

This causes an instant problem with my ability to connect with the general population. Not everyone in my life can email me the minute they need to chat. I get it. So I've sought out higher sources to provide me with the love and concern for others required to be a listening board.

This thought was timely. If I thought that God had embedded in other's minds a message and I needed to hear, I'd take more time to listen. Importantly, after reading this passage I went to Cafe Rio.

Because that is where one goes when one has a moment.

As we were waiting in line, me, Chup and our little creation, the fifty-something couple in line to order behind us started giving us parenting advice. You can imagine at first I wanted to bolt without my burrito, but I was really hungry. After five minutes we were engaging in a heart-to-heart, personal conversation about eternal truths and parenting privileges. They told me about having a child who made horrible choices and how they had to come to the realization that it wasn't their fault. They gave the child every opportunity to learn and grow, but the child simply chose not to accept the principles they taught. Their wisdom became part of me.

Obviously, it was a divine message from a stranger.

I've thought about it for a couple days now, someday I will meet the stranger with a message about modesty.

But until that day comes, my cleavage remains.


This evening The Councilwoman and I were taking a drive when she sighed and said to me,

"About the modesty thing . . ."

And suddenly I was sixteen again, lump in throat, preparing myself for an embarrassing snippet of the sex talk.

"It isn't about having cleavage. It's about what you do with your cleavage." She explained.

"You read my post." I said.

"Yes, and I want you to know that it's about your intentions. If you have unintended cleavage that is one thing, but if you have intended cleavage . . . well . . . then you've got a modesty issue."

Which is when my own mother became the "stranger with the message about modesty."

I get it.

***Marc Chagall, Wedding