I think too much at work. Think about how, as I get older, life just keeps getting more complex, about how such complexity has stolen some of the light from (my once jovial friend and coworker) Kacey’s eyes. About the stories of each person I meet in the store. And of the people I used to meet in the hallways. Another one of my coworkers asked me that: “Do you remember walking the halls?” Yes, yes I do. I remember thinking about the stories as I surveyed the sea of faces. When the halls were empty I walked by the lockers, I thought of the souls and cried. I remember…
It’s sad how sensitivity dulls with exposure. There are lockers at work too. I’m far enough in now to have begun hearing the stories. People like to think that those who are depressed or self harm are the exceptions. Really, if you dig deep enough, they might be the rule.
“You look happy today.”
“I’m good at faking.”
“I think most people are.”
Sometimes I kick myself for not noticing it in their eyes. You can nearly always catch it there if you watch. Sometimes I hate that I say too much; other times I stay quiet when I should speak up. Occasionally, I get it right. Like last week. A simple not saying essentially “I get it. I’ve been there. I care.” A brief break from my earthly work to pursue my heavenly calling. “I’m just going to hand this to you and awkwardly walk away. Connecting later on social media. It felt so good to get it right for once.
I miss the school. I miss the little things, like windows. Being cooped up in windowless backrooms in a large rectangular building without so much as a peek at the beauty outdoors is torture. Can I make a difference? I know less and less of the answers as the days go by. I cannot impart a hope I do not possess for myself. It’s easy to lose my own spiritual walk in the fray, to become “Much-afraid” again, even after The Shepherd has changed my name, for those of you who get that reference.
But I think and hope that I won’t be caged in the brick building forever. I think, I hope, that I’m making at least a bit of a positive difference there. Even if it’s just bringing a smile to brighten a coworker’s day as they dub me “Janice Joplin” (Joppie for short), “Robin Hood” or “Minnie Pearl” because of my outlandish hat.
Maybe someday I will work with the people and age group of my passion again. There are hopeful signs: Being friended by a member of the Apache Youth Ministries team that I’d love to work with someday, a mention of a possible student teaching opportunity next year, the camp counseling week in June that I am so looking forward to. It is these things that make my heart skip a beat; It is these things that bring me hope. I pray that I may walk worthy of the calling even in the long, frustrating transition stage of my journey. So…that’s me. Where are you today on your journey, my friends?