Life stopped again in a hallway, the hallway. As I walked through the temporarily empty school corridor I realized again how much I love them. These people mean the world to me. I realized again that time is running short-temporarily and forever-but somehow my failures to act in the moment didn’t sting as much this time. Those moments of fullness don’t last, but their truth remains: I love and care for these people, I am deeply connected to them, and I’m running out of time.
The truth comes in little moments, and small traditions. There’s a boy on the bus that I swap candy with. He’ll give me a piece of gum (or some such thing) and keep one for himself, and a few days later I’ll give him a jolly rancher, or the like, and either have mine, or give it away also. He’s about twelve; we don’t talk much, but we share something much deeper than sugar. One day, after I had had an especially hard day he was eating a Daffins chocolate bar, and I (half serious, not really expecting anything) said I’d had a bad day and asked if he would break me off a section. We bantered back and forth a bit, then I went back into my own world, only to find, moments later, a section of chocolate bar in my peripheral vision. I couldn’t stop thanking him, though he pretty much remained mute. My day got better, but it wasn’t just because of the chocolate.
It isn’t always that simple, of course. They’re not all that easy to love. I find myself gravitating to the rough ones, the transparent ones. Yes, they’re far from perfect, but at least they don’t pretend to be. I struggle with the preppy “Christians” living their lies. I struggle with whether my preferences are Christ like or not. He didn’t like fakers either. I struggle with the balance between standing up for yourself and others and turning the other cheek. I wonder if they know I love them, that I appreciate them. If I thanked some of them I know it would freak them out.
Internally I embrace them. In Stargirl’s words I want to “Take from the day…[and] give to the night.”, to take from God’s fullness of glorious light and give it to them in the dark. So, I’ve been praying for them a lot today-them and other people-anyone who comes to mind really. It’s been a meditative day. It’s been an interesting week. Each day God brings new surprises, some good, some scary. Sometimes days are what you make them; sometimes days are just what they are. I wonder what the summer will bring.
In so many ways I just want to stay here in the swing of things with the people, the ups and downs, and the love (compassionate, imperfect, messy love), but that is not meant to be. As Ananias Nin said in the quote I’m planning to hang on my locker: “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” I do not want to die that kind of death so I will keep moving, if reluctantly, towards the new people and stories that the future holds treasuring moments of fullness, pain, love, and joy along the way.