Tears Were Streaming Down Her Face As She Watched This On The Computer.
Story by Kristi Powers (Author)
Lately I have just taken a step back. And Watched. And read. And listened. As I have done this I have just felt a few things as I have watched the reaction of others to the news. Things like hollow. Empty. And tired. I read glib answers to hard issues and I just want to puke. I find no “easy” answers.
And then today, my 12 year old asked me to watch a show. It was a show about Michael Vick. Do you remember that guy? The guy who had tons of animals that he trained to fight. To the death. The dogs were so battered and bruised and beaten that when they took them from his home that they thought they would have to put them all down. But in entered some people who took those dogs and lovingly entered their world and helped them overcome their abuse against all odds. I felt the tears stream down my face as I watched how the abuse and hurt of others had affected these dogs’ lives. It is unfathomable to me how someone can mistreat an innocent animal. And it is even more unfathomable to me how we treat each other.
We sit behind our keyboards and fire off words we would never, ever in a million years say to someone face to face. Or would we? Would we really tell the father aching for his son right before Father’s Day that he shouldn’t have let his son dip his toes in the water on a hot day? Would we really tell the Mother who’s eyes left her child for an instant and had to watch in horror her son be dragged through the water by a Gorilla that she should have had her child in a harness? And would we REALLY ever celebrate the lives of 49 people lost at gunpoint? How can we look upon that tragedy and do anything but mourn with those who mourn and weep with those who weep?
And then we shoot off glib and hollow and empty answers to deep-rooted, heart-wrenching hurts. America, we have forgotten one REALLY HUGE THING. We have forgotten RESPECT. We have forgotten KINDNESS. We have forgotten how to DISAGREE WITH GRACE. You know when it happened? It happened when we started exchanging one on one time with each other and in its place used social media to air out our differences. We disagree and call it hate. Yet, you cannot see the love in my fingers when I type but can you see it in my face when I sit across from you and tell you why I feel the way I do?
So this week, I focused on those things. This week I sat with a young woman who asked me to meet with her. I cannot count the many times I have spoken truth into her life. I have hurt her and loved her and held her as she cried. Yet she asks to meet. To share. To ask where I see her at. We sit down over breakfast and I know I wound her. She knows though that I would gladly walk a mile across the desert for her. She knows that by my actions not my words.
And this week I sit with my husband and talk with a couple close to being married. We have met with them over the last two months. I am amazed at how right they are for each other. How in love they are. How they are talking and listening and incredibly ready for the amazing adventure they are about to enter. I hear their hearts. I see their joy. I let their happiness flow over me like a wave in the ocean.
And today, today as I was walking in the house Miss Ingrid stopped me. The elderly neighbor lady. She tells me about Chase and asks if I knew that on May Day he put a flower in her door and wrote a note telling her Happy May Day. No, he never shared that with me. She tells me he does that quite often. Leaves her a flower or a note. I walk in the house and I see that 12 year old in the back yard. He says “Mom, watch, I have been working with Nimbus.” I watch as that big lug of a dog walks patiently on the leash with Chase. His eyes are fixed on his boy. Trusting. Loving. He knows he will not be hurt by that boy who has the compassion of a saint for others.
And those things are things we cannot see or feel behind a computer. They can only be felt as we commit to doing life together with others in the NOW. And sometimes, sometimes those life things are hard. But we commit to agreeing to disagree because your life matters MORE to me than anything else. I can respect you and love you and cherish you despite our differences. Because people matter. You matter. Can you do the same for me? I hope so. I feel like the future of our country depends on it.
Signing out now. Doing life tonight…