Thursday, November 30, 2006

Splitting the White Ants

By Holly

For a long time I've had the idea of this post in my mind. Probably since the time in March when flying white ants stormed our house for the first time and a rush of neighbors licking their lips came to collect them. People told us then how valued the white ants are. They are considered a precious and tasty morsel--rare and shared only among friends. Another way of describing a dear friend is to say "split the white ant at the waist." Even if you only had one ant you'd share half of it with your friend. Someone told me that if you have a "split the white ant" friend then you know that you have a true friend, someone you can depend on and who depends on you. It reminds me of chilly evening walk with Tina, Kimbal & Kellen in Boston. We went through the Holocaust memorial after consuming massive lobsters and yummy clam chowder. It's a glass hallway in a park with stories etched along the path. One of them was of a girl in a concentration camp who while doing work outside happened upon a raspberry. She hid it in her pocket and brought it back into the camp that night where she shared her now smooshy raspberry with her best friend. It made me cry when I read it--and since I was with very good friends--we teared up together--and promised that we would share the smooshy raspberries of life.

So my idea was to post some of the faces of our growing friendship here--people that we've shared white ants with. The problem is that friendships/relationships are not static. Every day is full of changes-of new closeness, new trust, but also of betrayals and disappointments--some big and some small. The largest blow to my white ant idea was when our closest friend confessed that he'd been stealing from us (see betrayal and reconciliation). Most of our relationships are not so dramatic, but as human beings I think we regularly give one another reason to doubt, reason to wonder about true motives, and reason for me to put off posting the faces of people that I sometimes ask myself, but are they really friends that I can share white ants with? Am I really the kind of friend that they'd share a white ant with? I don't know. I think that there just comes a point when we have to be ok with the fact that our friends will disappoint us, and we will disappoint them and we make conscious choices to continue to trust, hope and love in full knowledge that the human experience is broken and vulnerable.



Philip and Tonny






JT said...

Holly, is there a way I can reach you by phone for some research-related talk? If no, I will email you a bunch of questions and ask you to cc your responses to all four of my email addresses so hopefully I will receive them :). But I did receive your last email with the subject 'Malaria Marker.'

Let me know ASAP (maybe posting a comment here on your blog to reply is best, I can check it daily) how to reach you and your phone number and the best time to call if phone is possible (the time needs to be between 8am and 5pm U.S. Eastern Time).


JT said...

By the way, this should be a day after Friday the 8th and before Wednesday the 13th :).


Anonymous said...

Hi Holly & Ben,

It's always good to read your blog. Dan is working on adding sermon podcasts to the Celebration Web site so you can hear them. We'll let you know when they are up.

Karen H.

Nickie said...

Hi Holly,
Thanks for sharing part of your life right now with us. I think that the greatest white-ants are those of the heart and the treasure of the words that God speaks to us. So thank you for sharing your treasures with us. I miss you dearly, friend. It's hard to believe that you've been gone a year now! 1/3 of the way through your stint there. But I guess I should be used to you living abroad by now!
Faith, hope, and love,

Anonymous said...

love that picture of Ben and Dan. Miss you guys,

Anonymous said...

Holly and Ben, these pictures are beautiful testaments to unity, openness, and joy. Keep on doing what you're doing--from the outside, at least, it seems like it's working.

May you know yourselves truly blessed this holiday season and in the new year.

Anita Z. (MCC Bolivia)

Priscilla said...

My dear Holly/Ben: just imagine how moved and touched, scrolling down and first reading the name, then seeing the person in self - rest assured in the knowledge this friend will never disappoint. Missing you heaps as I'm now far and way in deep Karamoja, trying to do the best I can to 'bring about positive change' in the lives and attitudes of all concerned. Keep on doing what you guys do best - indeed our little efforts, with God's blessings, will bring about much change in ways we least expect. I'm very much looking fwd to linking up with you guys again soon. With hugs and love, Priscilla