He is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative with staunch fundamental Baptist values. He is as stubborn as a mule: just ask his wife, or any one of his children, or pretty much any of his friends. He loves the Bible: relies on The Word to guide his life. He is definitely old school: implicitly trusts the Old Testament but is a bit wary of man’s freethinking interpretations of the New Testament. He believes in an eye for an eye and he trusts without question that he will be on the right side of things on the Day of Judgement. When it is time to vote, he leans far to the right and then – just to be safe – he votes just beyond that point.
I am about as liberal as you can get around these parts; When I read The Bible, it’s with a wary and cautious eye and I much prefer the New Testament to the Old. I am more of a turn-the-other-cheek type and I tend to believe what feels right, rather than accepting what I am told to believe. And I question everything: my religious views are unorthodox to say the least, and I am not a bit sure whether God will find me worthy or not when my life is over, although I fervently hope He will. I am quiet; I am spiritual; I am a tree—hugging soul of the earth. I have always had a stubborn streak but it is such a quiet streak that I must know someone very well before I let that side be known. I vote to the far left and I (frequently) use my vote strategically, just to make a point.
For some reason I cannot begin to understand, I have felt absolutely free to disagree with him from the get-go. Knowing how very different we are; knowing how we don’t see eye-to-eye on much of anything; just before he’s about to say something that he knows I am sure to disagree with, he will often give me a sly, sidelong look just to make sure he has my attention.
And then he grins: with love, affection and a great deal of mischief.
Because he is having so much fun; because he expects a retort, I am often uncharacteristically able to come up with a witty and funny response. At the very least, he knows he is going to draw out a loud belly laugh which he happily joins, tears of mirth in his eyes.
We shouldn’t like one another. I have said these words to him a number of times. We should really be actively avoiding one another. We definitely shouldn’t feel familial affection for one another.
But we do.
I know that if my family were in difficulty, he and his family would be there for us in a heartbeat. No questions asked. And he knows we would do the same. Somehow, with no effort at all, we have found that perfect balance of mutual respect, affection and complete, non-judgmental acceptance.
You don’t have to agree in order to be friends; you just have to love and care for one another. Sometimes, it really is that simple…
Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com