Monday, October 11, 2010

Preferred Character: What You Got In The Tank?

I’ve been pre-writing some entries for a series for this blog that at this moment will be called “Preferred Character.” It began as stories about the qualities I’m attracted to by reflecting on past romantic relationships; you’ll read it in later posts.

At times, I’ve been attracted to someone as a potential friend. I’m writing this entry in dedication to someone for whom I’m finding difficulties in showing that one the love that I have. We’re just clashing and having difficulty relating and to be honest, I’ve felt very disrespected and alienated by this person. God has kept this person on my heart though and I’m glad for it. I’m still not sure what to do, but I’d like to highlight his good qualities and his potential here.

I’ve known about Tank for years but didn’t have any personal interactions with him until about 3 years ago. I started volunteering with the youth at church when it was still organized under the youth pastor. Tank is one of several young people whom have become loyal to Pastor.

My first solid memory of Tank was on a youth event night [“solid memory” means when I took note of something or someone]. During clean up, I saw some tables that needed moving. Some guys were hanging around- goofing around really, not working. I had to ask that they help move some large tables back to where they belong.

Then it came to this smaller but heavier square table that was outside but belonged inside the gym. Well, those guys sat back down and began goofing off again. I started dragging the table to the door. I got it to the door but had about 10 more feet to go.

Tank was already carrying something but saw that I needed help. He picked up one side of the table and helped me move it. Then he carried on with his previous task. That is an attractive quality, taking a detour to help someone else, not being too busy to lend a hand.

I didn’t really know Tank that well but prior to the event, I had invited him and others of his friends to a Fourth of July get-together being put on by my friends, a few of whom Tank also knew. While he helped carry the table, he asked more about the get-together. I was surprised but impressed [having not known each other much] when he said that he would try to stop by and bring some of the guys. He was to be deployed soon and it would be the last 4th at home for him in awhile. They didn’t come, but he was the first [possibly only ‘cuz I don’t remember anyone else talking to me about it] of that group to reply to the invitation.

I thought that was a classy move. I must be part optimist because I thought, this is a guy I can kick it with, eventually. I’ve heard and observed that he’s rather gruff and kind of a rascal but I’m okay with that.

Anyways, Tank was deployed. My friendships progressed with his friends. Still having a generally good opinion of him and in spending time with his friends, I found myself excited for his return as it approached. Then the excitement calmed when I realized that basically, I wasn’t anyone he’d be greatly looking forward to seeing.

Then I tried to get something going with the young people. At the meeting, Tank was kinda teasing and playful towards me, which I was okay with. I’m used to being around guys and whatnot.

After that, things quickly soured between us. Several factors contributed to that. My regard for Tank hasn’t disappeared. I think it’s just in hibernation, sleeping in a cave of not-so-winsome characteristics and my own sensitivities. [I know, it sounds weird to say that I, “The Cold-hearted,” am sensitive. Deal with it.]

Here are other things I’ve observed of Tank:

Tank is a leader. He’s a leader in personality, a leader in certain experiences, I think I hear that he’s a leader in his unit. He has administrative abilities. He gets things done. He’ll do grunt work. These can be great qualities.

I sense that Tank’s acting language of love is “acts of service.” This is how he demonstrates his love. He likes to keep busy, look for something he can do for someone. He gives out of his finances. He can be protective.

I also sense that Tank’s receiving language of love might be “quality time” with a helping of “words of affirmation.” If I think about it, that kinda works together, that he should seek those who will spend time with him and in reciprocation, he will act in service towards them.

I don’t know but I think that Tank is seeking more with God though kind of blindly and/ or timidly. I say blindly because I’m not sure he believes that he can have more. I say timidly because it looks like he’s not sure of going too much outside of his comfort zone. And I understand; I’ve been there where I didn’t know that there was so much more with God than believing. For me, God seems to have orchestrated things so that I am never anywhere or with anyone long enough to get comfortable in the zone and I think maybe I can influence people to take more chances outside their zones, because God is in control.

And the thing is [again, I don’t know for sure], when Tank opens himself up more and more, when he allows God to grab hold of his all [ his heart, mind, soul, and strength], I see God using Tank MIGHTILY. I see God taking those leadership and service qualities in Tank and “moving mountains” through Tank. I really do. Tank’s not there yet and I get that. I just wonder what Tank would do if he could see what I see in him. I just wonder.

So I’ve been thinking about ways to better things between Tank and I and it doesn’t seem like ones I’ve attempted have come to anything good or any progress so far. Maybe we’re too alike in certain respects. It’s hard, too, when I have been hurt and I can’t discern any care from him regarding that. I don’t know. Time will tell, right?

I'm gonna take a break and then come back to continue trying. It'll be worth it, right?

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