The Friendship of Girlie
Imagine a woman whom, whom we shall call, Girlie, who has a very big heart. She is gracious, loving, free of prejudice, and with an understanding and empathy wide enough to encompass everything and everybody. Because she is so loving, she has a very wide variety of friends and one night she decides to have a party and invite them all. She rents a function room in a big hotel to hold everyone. And her guests begin to arrive. Men, women, and children show up. Everyone from all walks of life. Even the people who are political “enemies” and people who are usually from opposing sides.
Given the mix, there is a fair amount of tension, but because Girlie is there, because she is in the center of the room, and because they respect who she is and what she stands for, everyone, for the night at least, is polite to one another and is enough engulfed in a certain spirit of tolerance, respect, decency, and charity to stretch them beyond how they would normally feel, think, and act.
As one can imagine, such a gathering would work only while Girlie was actually present. Should she have to excuse herself and leave, or should persons get preoccupied in ways that would make them forget the real reason why they are there, you would soon enough get a combination of fireworks and dissipation that would empty the room. This particular mix of persons can be brought together and kept together only around one person, Girlie. Everything depends upon her presence and upon those present having her wide empathy while they are in that presence, that is, upon being in her spirit.
Disclaimer: This story has been leafed from the book “The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality” by Fr. Ron Rolheiser.
- How does Girlie’s Story relate with the Church being founded on the person of Christ?
- In what ways is this understanding present or absent in our experiences with the Church?