The theme for the February IM Church was friendship. So off Luna and I went for our monthly adventure after bumming a ride to and from with another core team member. Greeting folks went smoothly; both Luna and I know how to do that.  I was pleased that the pastor used the prayer I’d submitted for the volunteers about serving with, not doing, for our guests.

Things got dicey when the craft activity began. The lesson was about the friendship between Jonathan and David. Each pair of people at the table was supposed to tie one wrist to their partner and then do the craft together. At the clay table we opted to each make a symbol of friendship. My partner was another steering team member whom I like but don’t know well, a retired special education teacher. She freely admits she doesn’t know much about working with blind people but is willing to learn.  However she and I are alike in that we’re used to being in charge and getting the job done with as little help from others as possible.  So she tied our wrists together and I began using my one free hand to make my clay creation of two birds on a branch together.  When I was mostly done she rightly pointed out I wasn’t doing the assignment right because she wasn’t involved in the creation. Most of our tablemates had discovered they didn’t like to work tied together and had untied themselves.  We did ask and offer help to each other around the table and came up with handsome hearts, pizzas, faces and my birds to which a gal added a bird feeder.

The pastor strolled by to ask if I’d lead the procession into the church with a tambourine and I said I would if my partner would lead with me.  Picture my left hand on Luna’s harness and my right hand tied to my partner’s left hand and gripping the edge of a tambourine. I needed to shake it but also use it to get bodily cues about terrain changes like going up the ramp. I didn’t have a third hand to take her elbow! So she informed me as we processed that I was holding the tambourine wrong and should put my thumb through it “like this”.

Yes, friends have to communicate to work together and we both were talking but not communicating.  Just to make sure I knew we didn’t have good communication going, at the meal after the service I stuck my finger in a bowl of Jell-O I didn’t know was there.  By that time I could laugh.

As I prayed about the event afterwards, I became aware of two things I could do to make the next adventure in friendship work out better.  I need to spend time with her so we can talk out style differences and I need to stick up for my needs for more information and not just retreat into a resentful “fine, you shake the tambourine” sulk.  Why can’t friendships be easy!

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