When the large group arrived at the train station, I met Leo’s son for the first time. For whatever reason, he was here to greet his dad. One knew instantly that they were father and son. Each was a version of the other. One was always looking with pride and wonder, the other with admiration and awe, both with joy dancing in their eyes.
As I watched the son I realized that he was growing up as many boys do, with a weapon in hand. In his case the weapon was a bright green bow designed to fire nerf arrows. Today there were no arrows in sight. In their absence, you had a young boy with the look and the action! With eyes always on the prowl I was an easy mark. He was looking to do imaginary battle. He was ready to engage the enemy, laughing, smiling, and in his mine always winning.
For a time the battle was on. As we ducked and weaved, shielding our bodies with people milling about, he took aim and fired his imaginary arrows. I fought back knowing I was in a losing position. Everything I aimed was imaginary, he had a bow and he knew it! We maneuvered and positions, laughing and smiling in our imaginary world filled with images that only we recognized.
The battle abruptly ended as many imaginary battles often do; something more attractive caught our attention. In this case, a snack and the attention of others in the group.
I have been conditioned to fight. Today I was willing to let the fight go. I loved the idea that we were jousting as friends. I am struck by the idea that letting others fight when it is their calling, as well as standing tall when it is mine is a better than always going to battle because it is a battle. I do not know when it will be your time and calling or mine. I hear an echo from an old promise; “He crushes hostile people, puts nations at our feet.” (Psalm 47.3)