Last night I hung out, sharing food, conversation, and listening to the blues. The evening was not scripted or planned. It just unfolded. The conversation ran from work to family and relationships, from stability to decisions that will need to be made in the near future. For us, it is a repeating conversation. The good news is that each situation comes with new people, changing opportunities, and familiar uncertainty.
I think back to our first round of conversations. At that time, I could see potential that he could not. I was certain he could reach higher than he currently was. In the end, I think I probably pushed him harder than he wanted to go at the time.
In the second and third rounds, the fear of the unknown was a familiar topic. The difference was that he could see his history differently than before. There were changes. There was progress. He was different because of what had gone on.
The contrast now with the early days is stark. Gone is the innocence. Lost is the overwhelming fear. The struggle in handling the unknown is still there, but it is something that everyone faces at one time or another.
We came together and talk, age, and listening to music that we both love. When I think of the future, I know he will be ok. I am stronger for his confidence. He has discovered that life is willing to encourage him. From my perspective, he may not realize what has happened. In listening, he found “that was all he needed to stick it out. He stayed another year and a half, faithfully teaching the Word of God to the Corinthians.” (Acts 18.11)
What unfolds now is unwritten and yet I know the essence of the script. There will be intense struggles and wonderful joys. There will be bicycle rides that link him to his past and bring him closer to his present. Friends will come into his life and relationships will blossom. There will be pain. Yet, it will also be filled with compassion and beauty.