Wednesday, January 23, 2008

In the darkness of the deserted hallway, but a few moments ago, a shapeless apparition reached out a cold, clammy hand and grabbed me. I yelped (simply because I have forever lost the ability to scream, due to my father’s careful training in the proper usage of decibals). The next instant I realized it was only Lydia, groping her way from the opposite direction with her hands outstretched to prevent bumping into hard blockages—like me.

There’s a first time for everything, they say. Whoever “they” are. I was in and out of the campus library several times today without every so much as catching a glimpse of Taylor. And I never once saw Zach on campus, though we passed him on the way into town. We weren’t positive it was him, though the evidence stacked up--pink scribbles on the back window, beat up truck with a toolbox, hulking shape with no hair (to speak of)—until Papa’s phone went off and he was demanding to know why we weren’t waving back. After an hour with Jacinda in the library, winking over the tops of our respective computers, we immerged into the daylight, away from the annoyingly immature gaggle of girls and silly, stalking boys. “Is it just me,” I asked, “Or do all the students…” “…look like babies?” she finished before answering a resounding “yes”. It’s hard to believe that, had I gone to college, I’d probably have been slated for graduation in May. Another surprise awaited me at lunch when I discovered I am even older than Oly—by an outstanding twenty-two days.

The day itself seemed rather inside-out and upside down. I barely saw Lauryn in passing, work-worn and headed to donate the gift of life—blood. The majority of the day was spent with April, catching lunch, scrambling around campus to run errands and finally flopping onto the pink and green futon in the Sweetest Suite for some heart-to-heart. She asked about Amber and I started to answer before she interrupted hurriedly with “If she wouldn’t mind you telling me this.” Impressed by her desire not to be a gossip, I’ve been meditating on my “sharing” habits. Things charged to me in secrecy remain with me. But what about those things mentioned to me in simple private conversation? How much of that am I at liberty to divulge? Does what I share honor the Lord or His son or daughter? I need to evaluate my motives and my words. I need to protect my brothers and sisters in the Lord from embarrassment or dishonor and so protect His name.

Lord, guard my heart and mouth and mind
From thoughts and words and deeds unkind
From telling secrets not my own
That rumor weeds may not be sown.

May I bring before Thy feet
The whispers I would fain repeat
And speak of none to aught but Thee
That I might guard their dignity.

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