Thursday, April 29, 2010

Message to a Long Lost Friend

I understand your silence and can forgive your unease. I know that the actions of my youth caused you great pain. I reach out, not to bring you back to that dark time, but instead to reach beyond it.

Every chance encounter, every acquaintance, becomes a part of our individual story. I know that I am a part of yours, just as you are a part of mine. I bear a permanent mark to remind me of that, in the most literal of ways, as do you.

There are facets of who I am that simply would not be, had I not met you, all of those years ago, and for the most part, I am glad to have each of them.

I am sorry to intrude upon your personal distance, but I just want to know where life took you, and who and what you have become. When I knew you, I had every intention of being a part of the rest of your story, but a few plot twists here and there, and I wrote myself out of the story.

I suppose it is somewhat selfish to assume that I have any right to know, but I guess on some level, some part of me feels a sense of responsibility in shaping at least the next road that you took, and I wonder what awaited you there. I hope whatever greeted you, whatever new adventure beckoned, led you somewhere wonderful, because it is what you deserved.

"A pistol shot at 5 o'clock
The bells of heaven ring
"Tell me what you done it for"
"No I won't tell you a thing

"Yesterday I begged you
before I hit the ground -
all I leave behind me
is only what I found

"If you can abide it
let the hurdy-gurdy play -
Stranger ones have come by here
before they flew away"

I will not condemn you
nor yet would I deny"
"I would ask the same of you
but failing will not die

"Take up your china doll
it's only fractured -
and just a little nervous
from the fall"
- R. Hunter

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teachable Moments

As a parent, I sometimes see our day to day lives as little more than a string of teachable moments, held together with moments when we can attempt to live out those lessons. At times, I try to seek out as many teachable moments in our days as I possibly can. Sometimes though, it is the moments that you don't even see coming that are the best.

Our church is very involved in community outreach programs. One such program is a produce outreach, where low income and needy folks in our community can get fresh perishable food goods on a monthly basis, in the parking lot of our church. This happened to be the day that those goods were distributed.

Today is also the day that my daughter's Daisy troop meets at the church. I happened to have both kiddos with me when we arrived to a very full church parking lot. My children surveyed the scene and marveled at the sheer number of cars. Seeing a small girl with her parents, my daughter asked if this was another new Daisy, come to join our ranks. I explained quickly that no, these were people coming for the fresh food outreach.

My son, playing the older and wiser sibling role immediately attempted to translate for her and explained "Yeah, those people are collecting food for the needy..."

I gently corrected, "No honey, actually those people *are* the needy."

To which he looked up at me with wonder and surprise in his soft brown eyes and said simply, "But mom, they look just like us."

There is no better lesson that I could have hoped to teach my children today than that: there is nothing that separates us from those that are less fortunate but luck and circumstance. There is no "us" and "them". No superiority. No distance.

I only hope that message can stick with them as long as it will stick with me.