A Parking Lot Metaphor.
Yellow leaves scatter themselves about the drenched parking lot, their surfaces damp and clean from the freshly-given rain. Small puddles form mazes on the asphalt.
A small boy maintains a wobbly stance on this mazey, black asphalt.
He totters around the parking lot in tiny tennis shoes that probably won’t fit him next week. Every step he takes, he gazes at the path around him. Everything is new to him; he doesn’t want to miss a thing. He wobbles his way around the puddles, and I see his dad standing ten feet away. Dad keeps a constant watch, looking for danger, looking for cars that could hurt this tiny boy, calling out to the boy when the boy becomes distracted by small, harmless bugs, leading him out into the dangerous street. Dad is far enough away that if the boy loses his balance as he learns of leaves and rain and worms and beautiful things, the boy will fall. But dad is close enough that if the boy falls, dad can run to his aid. Dust him off. Give him hope.
A Brown-Paper Bag of Hope.
We have more poetry books than food, and are content to sit like this for hours. The two of us lay on the blanket I made for him 5 years ago. No shoes on the blanket. The park is warm, peaceful. I lay flat on my back and ask him if he has ever tried to feel the earth pulsing and turning beneath him. You can, if you try hard enough.
10 people approach us with coolers and smiles. They have a free lunch for us, they say, on one condition. We must let them pray for us. My heart warms as they hand us brown paper bags with homemade turkey sandwiches inside and pray for our unborn child. Amen. They smile again, and walk away. A flyer in the lunch sack tells us they want us to find Christ, as they have. I am not familiar with their faith; but I am familiar with the message they share.
My insides warm again.
A Woman I Love.
Less detail this time.
A bumpy wool blanket spreads on the twin-size bed. She shares the room. Her roommate can’t dress herself. She’s careful about the rules. She wants to be good. Her heart and her mind are hurting, almost as much as her body is. I see her pain, her goodness, her sheer humility. I watch her daughter, I witness a miracle. I am learning from her. I am learning from all of them. I am ashamed of my pride. I’m trying to be better.
A standard of truth, bravely projected to millions. Divergent voices of hate and misunderstanding reply. Judging, hating. They don’t understand that what drives him is love. What drives us is love. It’s okay, though. We know what is important.
We know what is real.
And the waves and waves of this reality crash down upon us every day.
Even when the world screams that they don’t exist.
They keep on a-comin'.
And they always will.
That. That is what I live for.