thoughts: what I really think about non-replies

I have no problem expressing myself. I’m usually very open and frank and direct to the point, but I sometimes find myself unable to express, really, what I think and what I feel. I think to a certain extent this self-restriction and self-restraint is beneficial for us and for those around us –especially when people don’t quite get used to such frankness and it’s better to keep the “peace”. It’s like they don’t know you after all these years!

I chanced upon one of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quotes from The Adolescent that seem to give words to my thoughts. I love him. I love the way he thinks and the way he articulates ideas and how he dissects the human soul. He’s one of my favorite writers. He writes, “There is immeasurably more left inside than what comes out in words. Your thought, even a bad one, while it is with you, is always more profound, but in words it is more ridiculous and dishonorable.” How true. You would rather just keep it to yourself than to possibly offend.

Last night, I sent a group text message to our Bible study group to confirm if they were attending, since I knew that most are sick or away the past few days. I didn’t get any reply, which is always annoying, so I called them individually and asked if they were attending. What particularly annoys me is how people have to wait for you to call them before they even reply or respond. But because I didn’t want to make such a big deal out of it, I just glossed it over and said “okay” to them. Inside, I was really annoyed at the lack of communication, and even at this sense of taking for granted, because they know that I will always show up anyway. If I could just really say what’s on my mind, I want people to know that from the leader’s part, it is always difficult. It always is difficult when you exert effort and remind people and follow them up, and they couldn’t even take a minute or two to reply.

I was quick to move on from the frustration because I decided to just have a farewell dinner with our Chinese teachers who have been in Palawan for two years. The devotion and eagerness that they have during Bible study is commendable. They always show up with answered notes, and despite the language barrier, are always so eager to learn more. Their answers are also very profound and encouraging, and it was such a joy seeing them know Christ and accept Him as Savior and Lord throughout their stay in Palawan. It’s something that will always humble (and embarrass) me –how people of a different race and language are more eager to know about Christ than the ones within the circle. It’s puzzling, for sure. But it’s encouraging.

I’m writing now because I want to get these things off my chest. Because I’m in a transition period in my life, I want to maximize and make the most of my stay here. It’s something that I’m learning recently: giving priority to what needs priority: relationships. It’s sad so many of us take a lot of things for granted.


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