Judge Not – Sometimes Fun Is Loud
I recently had the chance to attend a fun adult event. Since moving from our home, the feeling of being known by our friends is one we greatly miss so this opportunity to hang out with a handful of people we’ve met here who are really getting to know our hearts was like a tall glass of water during this dry time.
If you know Joel and I, you know that our fire pit friends (as we like to call them) are what we miss the most. The kind of friends that you can just sit around a fire pit with and say nothing or pick up and go on a crazy adventure with or visit their homes without the neat to tidy up and put on a front – you get what I’m talking about?
We have been graciously blessed with friends who fall into this category over and over again. And it might be a little greedy to want that yet again in this new place. But my oh my, our Father is faithful and those connections are starting to be made and it is so GOOD for our hearts. But now I’m off track…
The chance to attend this event with people we’re growing to know and be known by meant that we could go together and have fun. It meant that the introverted extrovert in me could feel safe being me. So in we go; admittedly nervous about enjoying ourselves in the public eye (’cause we know we’re a loud, fun and wonderfully dysfunctional group), but thankful we’re in it together. Knowing that people are going to see the real version of us – loud, laughing, broken and genuine. But we went for it.
Oh my word did we all have a good time. We laughed and whooped and cut up as only safe friends can. We brought people in on our jokes and shared our humor with anyone who stopped by to say hi. We were as inclusive and transparent as possible. And my oh my did we ever laugh. If you’ve hung out with us, you know that laughter is key – life has too many sorrows not to look for chances to celebrate life and so we did. The nerves of us just being ourselves were relieved because we were in it together. For many of us, it was our first chance at an adult date night with friends in a long time. Such. A. Good. Night.
And the next morning, as I arrived on time and perky as usual to my job, I was met with surprising judgement. Through whispers and awkward comments I put the pieces together and realized that people assumed that as loud and laugher filled as we were, we had to have been drunk. Mercy, Lord. Yes, alcohol was served at the event. Something we’d all discussed ahead of time since when we hang out, alcohol is rarely part of the equation. We talked about the importance of setting an example that wouldn’t disqualify anyone from feeling they could be involved. Wine was put on each table and we collected extra wine bottles throughout the night. Those that came to our table commented on how many bottles were on the table, only to pick them up and realize they were almost all FULL. Between the eight of us, we went through maybe two bottles in 4+ hours. I can’t speak to drinks people bought on their own but I can say I suh-lammed four bottles of water that night. Man oh man was I ever…hydrated!
All of this to say, fun is loud sometimes, and that’s okay. Don’t judge loud fun because alcohol is in the room. If you know us, you know that loud and fun usually ride hand in hand. And should you think someone has had too much to drink, ask them – that would show genuine concern for safety versus judging them quietly and watching them drive away. If you’re wishing you were at the loud table, as I often have while hiding who I am, go on over and pull up a chair. Chances are, they’ll welcome you with open arms.
Jesus taught us to love fiercely. That means sometimes you’ve got to ask a question that might feel uncomfortable in the moment. But go ahead and set your judgement aside and ask it, you might be surprised at what you find out and the person will appreciate your heart of understanding instead of a posture of judgment.
Given the chance to do that night over, I’d do it all over just the same. The laughter with friends who we are known by is priceless.