There are magical moments created when someone knows what to do. Two days ago it was a crying kid. The night before that was the timely story when another’s had too much confidence. Before that it was a courteous move and gracious way others joined in.
The kid was crying to the point that it sounded as if he was struggling with real pain. While everyone gave the parents space, I wondered what anyone could do. Without a word, a father stepped in and “quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves.” (Psalm 107.29) His warm embrace was not forced. His empathy and compassion could be felt by strangers like myself nearby. I was struck by an act of love that said one cannot but two can.
The over confidence of youth met a buzz saw of experience. The fact that this occurred should not have been a surprise. I watched in amazement as the correction was delivered and applied with love, compassion, and a sense of humor. I laughed to the point of crying. I wondered out loud about the youthful confidence only to realize that this has been my view on more occasions than I am willing to admit. I found myself admiring the shift unfolding in the small group. Experience leading and teaching the one willing to grow, empathy becoming tangible with action.
Turning left across three lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction as your care is either an act of foolishness or a naïve requirement of necessity. My natural tendency is to want to have a conversation with the driver. As an alternative, I watched as another driven stopped, gave space, and put on his flashers to alert others. In the end, everyone gave the errant driver space. It must have looked odd – three lanes of traffic with their emergency flashers going while leading car in each lane and even the bikes between the cars waiting in silence. No horns. No rushing to take advantage of what was their right.
We are shifters.