The atmosphere in the car was unusual as we drove to the conference. Three of us in the car, yet only two of us talking. What did I do to upset her?
I tried to make small talk with her, but her answers were short.
I hate passive aggressive behavior. If you are mad at me, just tell me! I much prefer confrontation over silence.
At the conference, the first moment we were alone, I confronted her. Stepping in front of her, I slid my sunglasses down my nose, and looking into her eyes I said, “Okay, Sister! I know you and something’s not right. Are you mad at me?”
She looked away and said, “No, I just have a headache.”
“Are you sure? Because if I’ve upset you, I need to know.”
Her eyes stayed focused on the wall in front of her. “Why would I be mad at you?”
Great! She wants me to search through my early morning haze to figure out WHY?
“It could be anything—-the way I speak before I think…”
Before she could answer, we were interrupted. The day went on and things felt unresolved.
The next day, I got a text from her: Prayer request please. I’ve been fighting a migraine for two days now. Headed to the ER.
Once she returned from the emergency room, I visited her at home. I looked into her weary eyes and said, “You had a serious migraine and still went to the conference anyway? I thought you were mad at me.”
“I would tell you if I was mad. I just didn’t want anyone to know that I was suffering. The migraine was causing me to lose my vision and I didn’t want you to see how bad I was.”
“Oh my goodness! Why would you do that?”
“Because if you knew I was hurting, you would’ve left the conference to take me home. I was quietly trying to push through and be strong…. Plus, I didn’t want to miss the conference.”
I sighed at her strength. “I want you to know that you can tell me if you are not feeling well. And, just for the record, If I ever hurt you, I will stalk you and beg for forgiveness until you forgive me. I cherish our friendship.”
Before I left her bedside, I said, “I love you!” Then I put on my sunglasses and rose from her bed. Glancing once more at her, I pulled my glasses down to make eye contact one last time. I stood there with raised eyebrow.
She made the same gesture back at me. “I love you too.”
Apparently, every moment, each situation, is not ALL about me.