Monday, November 11, 2013

Friends, by Chance.


"It is by chance that we met, by choice that we became friends." ~ Henri Nouwen

I was making my way into my car today, and following a very brutal yoga class.

Exhausted, tired, and completely humbled by the physicality of today's session - I reached for my keys, and hung my head in despair - thinking how I just couldn't wait to get back home again.

And then I heard a voice call out to me - an old man leaning into his car, and waiting for me to return

"I see you have a child in the military," he said, as he pointed to the little sticker on the window of my car. It read, "Proud Parent of a U.S. Army Soldier" - my son gave it to me just before he left. He was so proud that day, having just enlisted - and looking forward to this new life ahead. And though, I tried my very best to dissuade my dear son, it soon became clear...service was his purpose.

I guess I can understand that. Likewise, when purpose takes hold of a young man's heart - there's simply no holding him back.

"Why yes," I said, looking over the well-worn creases in this stranger's face, and knowing lines like that come only by way of the very best of stories. "My son, he just left for boot camp - Fort Jackson, S.C."

"Well, God bless him," he smiled, shaking my hand. And then, his voice choked a bit as he lowered his head, "My boy never made it back."

You know, I have always believed there to be an invisible force guiding happenstance and chance meetings. Whether it be some higher spiritual power, or just the clever inner-workings of this most magnificent universe - it's clear, fate...always finds its way.

For you see, on any other day this man may have sat, still silently a stranger - and, yet something urged him to reach his hand forward.

Isn't it incredible how these things work? To consider, out of all the potential millions upon millions of interactions - that two strangers might walk away 'friends'?

So, my dears - I must apologize for this late posting, but...you see, someone else needed me more.

My dears, we never quite know the sacrifices of others until that stranger looks us square in our eyes and shares fully, his heart.

And, when that moment happens - we must always listen.

For, there's generally a much greater 'gift' to go along with their story...