Get them now. I have a story to tell, and it's a true one. Have you ever had a moment that you know you will remember for the rest of your life? Something you've seen or heard or been told that you know just changed you somehow? That's what happened to me....read on......
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking my in-laws to Vanderbilt to have PaPa's hip check-up. Praise our good Lord above....he continues to heal and do as well as could be expected. My mother-in-law, Barb, LOVES her a Mickey D's meal, straight off the dollar meno. Cheap date, huh? :) So when we "go to town" we have to stop there to appease her....and she starts talking about it when we leave...and she doesn't stop until we actually leave the restaurant after our meal. It's funny. (She was heartbroken when they quit serving cherry pies. I still may write a letter to corporate and beg and plead with them to put them back on the menu.)
I was tired. It had been a long day. I just wanted to get home. In a baddddd way. BUT....they wanted to go inside and eat "in style", and so we did. As i was people-watching while they were eating, this man came in and sat down, right in my line of view, and he just sat there, staring off into the wild blue yonder. He looked so miserable, so forlorn, and so sad. He almost looked mean, but not quite. I wanted to reach out and touch him. Tell him it would all be OK, and smile at him. Or gather him up and give him a big hug...or maybe both. (He looked like he could use all the help he could get.) I found myself staring at him, willing my eyes to look away, yet they were riveted on the sight. Sagging body, hands holding up his head. He was hot...sweaty and dirty...and had on what was most probably a work uniform.
I must have gotten side-tracked, probably because the in-laws were talking to me and I wasn't paying very good attention....and the next thing I know, there is a woman and two boys standing there, talking to the man. I am hesitant to use the word, because my daddy taught me never to use it, butttt...I *assume* that it was his wife, and I know it was his son. She asked him what he wanted to eat, he barked his order at her, and she left to get in line to get their food. *HERE* is where it gets sad, and where I was struck with the memory that will never leave me. "Son" is definitely excited to be there, probably between 8 and 10 years old, and hops along behind Mom, and says, quite loudly and most definitely jovialy, "I love you, Dad!!!!!" and continues to hop behind Mom to the register. Dad's eyes never waivered, he didn't even move a fraction of a hair. You know, I think he was so lost in his revelry that he didn't even hear Son's words....but Son acted as if it were normal to be ignored in such a manner. Heart. Break. City. An opportunity lost, words gone unsaid. A miserable person, unaffected by the joy of his own child, by the fact that his wife was there to meet him, to have dinner with him, as he was probably on his "lunch" break, and he was too...something...to enjoy it. Was that normal? Was he hurting? (Obviously.) Why? How could it be helped? How did he get that way? I was so drawn, yet I didn't DO SOMETHING. I mean, what do you say? What do you do? but I wanted to say something, anything, as I walked past him on our way out, but the best I could muster was a smile and a nod....and I rested in the fact that he at least looked up, and he saw that smile....so hopefully, it had some sort of effect on him. This scenario, for oh, so very many reasons, struck so many chords within my soul that I doubt I could count them all.
On to Dad's talk in church yesterday, where he challenged his congregation to DO SOMETHING. You can listen to his sermon, shockingly entitled, "Do Something," by going here: www.wesleyheights.org and clicking on the "Sermons" link on the left hand menu. So my challenge to myself and to you is to DO SOMETHING. DO something to show love to someone. DO something to reach out to someone. DO something to make a difference! If we all DO something, anything, we can make this world a better place. Every day, every week, every month, every year. Who's in this with me? Let's get busy! :)