There was one part in here that made me think. It has to do with the L-word.
One of the new characters - Zeke, a believer and new member of the Tribulation Force - found out for sure that his father was killed because he would not take the mark of the beast. Rayford, the leader of the Trib Force, went to talk with Zeke about it.
Background info: Zeke is a stereotypical biker guy. Picture leather vest, black t-shirt, jeans, all black. He's known the Trib Force members for a while and would make them new identities, which included make-overs and IDs. But once the Global Community (new world system, run by the Antichrist) caught on to his and his dad's illegal gasoline selling, Zeke's dad was arrested but Zeke himself was in the hidden basement and was able to escape to the Trib Force safe house. So he hasn't been there for very long. But this is what he says to Rayford:
"Bad as this is, there's no other place I'd rather have been when I heard about it. I sure love all you guys."
It's so hard for me to imagine myself saying something so straight-forward when it comes to love. And I'm not talking about the love like the way I love Alisha. I'm talking about friendship love. Family love. It's easy for me to say that I love hanging out with certain people, but to say that I love them - never mind actually telling them that I love them - is hard for me.
One example I can think of right now is when I had a talk with one of my pastors when I first came out about Alisha. Without getting into the details of the conversation here, I did end up crying, and before I left he gave me a hug and told me that he really cares about me and doesn't want to see me get hurt. Of course this made me cry more, cuz I'm not used to hearing so much encouragement, not to mention that it's still a touchy subject within the Salvation Army, and the Church as a whole. Anyways, he did say the words, "I love you," and as much as I appreciated it and the feelings are mutual, for him and his wife, I couldn't get much more out than a little squeak.
I think about my mom as well. I love my mom with all my heart, and I love having been able to see her a lot more often now that we do our weekly grocery shopping together on Sundays. I can write a note to her, if for example I stop by her place and she ends up not being home, and put at the end that I love her. Can I tell her to her face? Nope. I've tried. I get awkward. I'm not sure why. Though when I first came out to her, she reassured me a lot that she still loves me.
It's something I'd definitely like to work on. I want people to know how much they mean to me. And not just them assume how much, but actually tell them. Tell them I love them as a person, and not just the time I spend with them.
Pray for me, I somehow don't find this easy.