The days merged and weeks passed by. In fact, it has been years. Glimpses of hope and promises for a future that is good dot the timeline, but still history continues to repeat itself. The seeds that the older ones have sewn bear fruit in the lives of their children. Patterns engraved upon the mind and the heart deepen, even though grace, like fine grit sandpaper, have softened the edges of the ruts and the ravines. Unwelcome and unbidden thoughts and memories invade and pursue, sometimes as whispers and sometimes as chants, though time has moved on.
- “You are the most narcissistic person I have ever known.”
- “Devil,” written in Sharpie red letters identified my cup among others in the gathering.
- The small room is filled with an abundance of food and chatter as conversation and laughter shared between two and three huddled close together magnifies the silence of sitting off to the side in my appointed chair. My plate is being carefully monitored that I should eat what was given to me and that I should delight in doing so.
I often wonder if these daggers will always haunt me. As odd as it may sound, ’tis easier to forgive than to forget.
The host at the restaurant greeted me soon after I entered its doors. “Hello, Sunshine!” I responded with a quick smile and a short giggle. Indeed the expression on his face and the glint in his eyes relayed the message that he remembered me. The server I had not seen before and I kept our interaction brief, for I knew she was responsible for four tables. Watching her anxiously and hurriedly carry out her tasks before shift change automatically sent me into a laid-back acceptance of the circumstances, being conscientiously alert to offer appreciation of her in any way possible.
The greeter at church held the door open as I approached by way of the accessibility ramp. “Here comes that beautiful woman!” Again, I responded with a quick smile. Again, I immediately went into a laid-back acceptance of circumstances, being conscientiously alert to offer appreciation of him being willing to serve.
Slowly, and randomly, balance of the zingers of the past with favor of the present soon tipped toward memory-worthy comments and encounters of substance. Having ventured out among peoples familiar and unfamiliar, the recriminations that were delivered in private and in secret loss their volume and strength.
Leaving the sanctuary during the last prayer was meant to be inconspicuous. The unexpected, and unexplained, loss of balance placed me face flat on the carpeted floor. Thankful that all heads would be bowed, the possible rise of my dress was the least of my concerns as I began to pick myself up as quickly as possible. Before I had risen an inch from total body contact with the flooring, four pairs of male hands were reaching for me and setting me aright. Their faces were ashen with concern and I tried to quietly murmur reassurance that I was alright. A couple of folks followed me out the door for safety sake. Within the hour, phone calls were coming in checking on my condition.
Cuts and slights, wounds and bruises are inevitable. The damage seems to be magnified when unexpected and unexplained.
Life would be painfully lacking in worth and hope if there was not good to balance the bad. If it were not for tongues of grace and hands of mercy, living would be an unending death.