Whenever I speak on friendship, I go ahead and tell people straight up that they need to find a Chase. I never fail to mention that if they have no Chase, they need to locate one. When I say this I don't mean "You need someone who will be voted 'Best at Giving Introductions' along side you for two consecutive Indiana Bible College chorale tours." (Because while this is a treasured shared memory of ours let us be real, there was that one night I read half the book of Psalms and made no coherent sense whatsoever. This, coupled with the time at Live Recording where I said "Halio Jesus" ... What? ... basically guaranteed that the kindness of my peers and the video editing skills of one Christopher Henderson is the only reason I was ever voted anything other than "person we keep forgetting not to hand the mic to.") What I mean when I say "people need a Chase" is that they need someone to be a mirror. To present a true picture of themselves when they have clouded vision, when they are seeing all the wrong things.
The deep (and honest) thing I mean when I say this: "Get a mirror friend. Get a Chase" is that when I hear Chase talking, I like the me he sees and says. Generally, he sees a prettier picture than the one I imagine myself.
I need him because he has a more accurate view of my life than I usually do.
I like that because his view of my face is genuinely and generally more flattering, which makes me feel better.
Except the other day. The other day he sighed with such intensity that I would almost pledge that his breath crossed phone lines straight onto my ear and he said:
"Melinda at some point you are going to have to ask yourself when it becomes sin for you to continue to flirt with what you know is not for you right now."
That did not make me feel better. It made me feel nauseous. It made him feel nauseous. (I'm actually still nauseous thinking about it right now.)
Believe me when I tell you anyone else who said something like that might not have been left living.
Excuse you Chase Thomas? You have no idea what you are talking about.
He did though. He did.
You know why I need a Chase? Because he knows me, and when he looks at my life he does not suffer from blind spots, nor does he wear any of the various pairs of rose colored glasses in my impressively extensive collection. When he looks, he just sees. He sees me. He sees me and he knows that I am incapable of doing anything by halves, especially if it involves my heart. When I try, I end up with half a heart.
I cannot wholly love God when I am half hearted.
How many people have I told in my lifetime, that there is no "separately together?"
Yes or no. Hot or cold. God or Mammon. Separate or together.
I go to war in my own spirit battling to believe that I can keep some part of the things I want the most. With one hand holding onto them at least I am halfway happy. Chase reminds me I am made for more.
This all the way God with all the world's grace offers it extended through the lips of Chase.
So I let go to hold on.
I let go, and am held.
Whole-hearted and wholly loved in this holy here and now.
So yeah. You should probably get a Chase, but you may not have mine.
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." - Proverbs 27:5-6
"If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." Mark 3:25
Oh, and that thing? That thing you started thinking about halfway through this blog? Maybe, just maybe, let it go. Maybe try being whole-hearted and wholly loved in this holy here and now. After hours of experience I absolutely recommend it.