The contrast between early days in San Francisco and today could not be more complete. In the first we could run the heater on maximum and apartment would never go beyond cold. We were still discovering out what it was like to be a couple and married. Stress abounded at every corner. And we were always in trouble with our neighbors. It seems that the paper thin walls and floor allowed both parties to hear far more than they wanted to! Nothing they or we could do or say seemed to rectify the situation.
Today, decades into our marriage and partnership, we lived in a brick home with poured concrete floors. The neighbors are around, yet we have space between. In contrast to taking we now share space with others who only seem interested in giving. Stress is still here, but it is different. We have every opportunity to make a difference.
It is unfair to remember the past with such clarity. I am sure there were two sides to the story. Yet, I do know that when one experiences someone who is truly selfish that there is nothing worse. It is validation of the fact that “wicked souls loved to make trouble; they feel nothings for friends and neighbors.” (Proverbs 21.10) We seem to wrestle with the devil incarnate!
As vivid as the memories are that is not what sticks with me today. Even then there were some amazing contrasts in life. Our landlady was a constant source of encouragement, support, and calm. Her friendship and willingness to give reflects a different spirit; one that everyone should strive for.
The second fact occurs when I see myself in the mirror. Gone is the youthful innocence and excitement. It is replaced by graying hair, lines of maturity in the hands and face, and eyes that listen.
Today you and I have opportunities around us. Who will we incarnate? How will we respond to people and situations? God offers us the chance to be his living words. The next step is up to you and to me.