Friday, May 25, 2018

The Stranger

To welcome the stranger is to develop a relationship such that our freedom is compromised.  Any relationship will cut into our freedom to do as we please, but especially the stranger.  Spiritual practices seem to say that we should welcome the stranger.  I see it in the Bible for instance.  But not all of us want such a mutual dependence that this relationship brings. For instance,  the mother pregnant with new life is a dependent relationship that changes both the mother and the baby in utero, or fetus if you prefer.  The life in the womb is a stranger.  You have not fully met.  You have expectations or fears, anxieties, hopes, disappointments, whatever, so this is the "stranger" aspect of new relationship.  The infant in the womb is a "being from" as someone said, and is very dependent upon the "from."  It is oriented toward the mother.  The woman is a "being for" the infant, fetus in the womb, and even her body changes and takes away some freedom of movement and shape.  This being from and for one another compromises one's freedom. If the baby is brought to term it will practice lots of freedom but will still be dependent and so not completely free.  A new person in your life limits your freedom, or else it won't be much of a relationship.  If you value freedom above all else, it will affect, limit, destroy relationships.  My initial reaction to strangers is to want to pull away or go away.  I have learned to overcome it better now and have enjoyed some really good opportunities to grow.  Unlimited freedom does not work for me.  It appeals to my lesser self.

1 comment:

  1. I was having a conversation with a good friend about this very same subject. So when I got home and read your blog I wondered if you had overheard us! Grace at work, because she too was grateful for your words I forwarded to her.