Harry Chapin once sang a song talking about how all life was a circle. Just when you got to the end you are at the beginning. The music resonated then and now. Yet it is only in the graying of my life that the words make sense. After spending two weeks walking, traveling, and sharing life with Carli, I find myself musing about my parent’s fears, uncertainties, and doubts when I was her age.
I lived my teen and young adult years in a careless way. It was reckless from today’s perspective. Everything centered on my perspective, values, and priorities. I was responsible for my actions yet I was incredibly, in hindsight, insensitive to the needs of others. I was intelligent, yet I often failed to think things through or listen to those with more wisdom than I (there were many). My confidence was often my undoing. My arrogance, pride, and ignorance all mingled in a way that blurred my vision. I was a example of why parents grow old before their days.
After two weeks with Carli I find myself reflecting on a series of fronts. Above all, I am stunned and awed by the patience my God and parents have given me. Second, I am continuously surprised at the wisdom and compassion found in the next generation.
It is the combination of compassionate hope I find in Carli and gift of patience given me that brings me back to cycles. The problems of the world were and are here. They always have been. It was not for the first time that “again, the Master, God, says, ‘Early on, my people went to Egypt and lived, strangers in the land. At the other end, Assyria oppressed them.’” (Isaiah 52.4) In the midst of this pain, I find a new generation that refuses to treat anyone, regardless of his or her status, position, or station in life as anything less than a human being. It is a wonderful example that takes me right back to how God looks at you and me. We are God’s children!
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