I have watched two individuals touch others in very different ways. As the interactions extended from days into weeks and months, you could feel a bubble growing. The outcome of the touch was more than the immediate. It seemed to extend beyond the surface, touching each in ways that one finds difficult to describe. With time, the bubble is so full that externally the skin is stretched tight and hard. To the first time observer it seems as if it is merely a bump. One might wonder but there is no real interest because it is not a sign of anything. As someone watching for a longer period of time, I wondered what would happen when the stretch went a bit too far.
The observations that follow are reasonably predictable. What caught me off guard is that I knew several participants well. In the regular run of life, each is mature, equipped with tools to handle the unexpected, and engaged. If I spoke in generalities, I would say that they loved life. They were engaged in living, loved being in relationship, and naturally reached for hope over fear.
In the first case, a turning point emerged. In the process of understanding how everyone got to this point the past was recast with the new information. Advice and guidance then how had a new context. For one, there was one conversation too many. The bubble burst. It was ugly. It hurt, even as both sides buried and hid the pain.
In contrast, a second turning point is emerging. Different lead that is a replay of the process using many of the same characters. The outcomes are in stark contrast. With the information, the past was naturally recast. Extremes have not emerged with the release of the bubble, but I can sense emotions of respect and curiosity. For at least one, the response is obvious; “I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.” (Psalm 30.12)
Everyone touches another in different ways. We will have opportunities today.