A few weeks ago I blogged about Tim's and my friend who is staying in Victoria's old room. At the time I thought of myself as expressing something uncomfortable fairly pleasantly, but thinking back on it I've recognized I was criticizing this man we've known a long while.
He did act strangely at first, but after three weeks he suddenly came out of it and was his old self. Of course, if he'd been developing Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, improvement wouldn't have happened. We three have gone along now, with little ups and downs, pretty well. But nagging at the back of my mind has been my talking to people about my friend without his knowing. This wasn't kind or pleasant or safe. I was ignorant of how things would develop, but that really isn't an excuse. One recent morning I faced into my need to repent to God and apologize to our friend.
I told him I had talked to people and blogged about this stuff behind his back. He took my request for forgiveness very kindly. He mentioned that another friend had worried about his trouble speaking there for a while. He said he was ultra-focused at the time on several things. (I wouldn't be surprised, though he didn't say it, that he was somewhat anxious about coming to live in our Orthodox home. He may have worried Tim and I would try to coerce him to convert.)
This friend is a musician; he belongs to a symphonic band. Now that we're past this awkward phase in our household with him, I listen gratefully of an evening to scales and arpeggios escaping beneath the guest bedroom door. I'm grateful for his ability to focus and to forgive. I hope we'll dwell harmoniously, despite missed notes, a little while longer.