I have not been back to Oregon in years. No real reason or plan to my avoidance, it just happened. I do not really know what I thought it would be like, but it has brought back a flood of memories; no sanitized and refreshing. I spent the day visiting with mothers who were great influencers in my college years; in hindsight, they fundamentally altered the course of my life in ways that were instrumental to whatever good I have become.
When I think of yesterday and of twenty years ago, there are several things that the two women who have never met hold in common. They…
accepted a young man into their lives as he was,
dreamed of his potential, far beyond his imagination,
willingly gave of their time to talk, participate and just be with him.
I also found that God was and is a central part of their life. Finally, their steps and rhetoric always continued in sync.
I catch a glimpse of my passion for people and I see their smile. I wonder about my concern for the impact of my mistakes and I feel their mercy and compassion. I walk the Portland streets and gaze into the faces of the next generation of yesterday’s friends, and I know that they loved me unconditionally. On reflection the face of each is clear; in the mirror they seem to be God’s own.
What do you and I do with the gifts that we have? Do we think we have a corner or knowledge or experience?
I could easily be facing unemployment like many are this Christmas season in Oregon. If I hoard the gifts that God freely dispenses, I could be a harsh reality of the god of self made in the flesh. When one holds on to mercy, acceptance, compassion, love, and recreation they change into things ugly; justice, judgment, arbitrary fairness, conditional response, and assembly for starters.
What are we? The choice is ours.
“Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.” (Proverbs 15.2)