Probably the most dysfunctional thing about my family growing up (and every family has something dysfunctional) was the avoidance of confrontation at all cost, and each day as I still struggle with this, I am constantly made aware of just how high a price that was. It is far worse than any confrontation anyone could experience, because the price is the cost of the relationship itself. We finally discover that the only way to truly avoid confrontation is to avoid each other entirely.
In a comment to the Catch, Gitta got me thinking about this when she pointed out that our “loud conversation” that I wrote about in yesterday’s Catch wasn’t quite what she had been praying for when she prayed for us, until she realized that to not have the conversation would be worse. How correct that is.
In fact, Marti has been trying to get me to see that Chandler is the hope for this family for this very reason, because he pushes us into these conversations I don’t want to have, but must have, if there is going to be anything healthy going on.
Do any of you remember the “See no Evil; Hear no Evil; Speak no Evil” monkeys whose origin, according to one source, was a 17th-century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan? We used to have a little sculpture of those guys above our sink in the kitchen. I always thought they were from the Bible, since I grew up in an evangelical home and my mom was always quoting scripture, and anything we had on the wall was from a Bible bookstore (the monkeys probably were as well). Those monkeys became a sort of unspoken symbol for our family. The translation being: “Whatever is worthy of criticism about this family, pretend not to see it, not to hear it and most definitely, don’t talk about it to anyone.”
Here is the truth of the matter: One of the best ways to allow evil in is to pretend it isn’t there. Confronting it allows God to do something about it, and encourages all those who are involved in the process. Without a doubt, our strongest Catches this year have been those involving Chandler, his drug addiction, our enabling (there are those monkeys again), his treatment, our coming together as a family, and our learning process, all of which are still ongoing, and will be indefinitely. In the process, we have connected with so many of you who are going through or have gone through similar struggles, and have learned how our story has been an encouragement to many. As Marti likes to say, “Every reconciliation requires a confrontation.”
So, our loud conversation was actually a good thing, and exactly what Gitta, and so many others of you have been praying for after all. Thank you, everyone!