I am glad that the seventh day is Sabbath! It has been such an awesome week and I'm so grateful for every precious; exhausting; gut-wrenching; hilarious; stretching; heart-warming minute of it.
I had wandered into the kindergarten classroom on Special Persons Day, looking for one of my special little people, Stephen. I was immediately charmed by some of the other five-year-olds in the small class, who wanted to know who I was. "I'm Stephen's Omie," I told Martin; who said--as though he wished he had one too--"I only have a grandmother and grandfather."
Soon Martin, Stephen and I were on the floor with a barn full of barnyard animals, sorting out pigs and cows and hens and sheep!
Eventually the boys had enough of counting sheep and wandered off. I sat on a small chair by a bookcase and reached for a book entitled, The Sloth. Feeling rather sloth-like myself by this time, I was soon engrossed in learning interesting facts about my kindred spirits. Picking up the book caused children to gravitate to me, like iron filings to a magnet. Soon warm little bodies were leaning against my knees, as they looked with avid interest at the pictures of not just sloths--but armadillos, turtles, anteaters and porcupine--some of which had been on my mind this week as I thought about my conflict resolution style.
"I'm John Sebastian," said one little boy with short blond hair and blue eyes.
"You can just call me Sebastian."
"For short?" I thought.
I pointed out the Poison Dart Frog on the inside cover. It looked like quite some creature.
Sebastian said, "I've been shot by one of those."
"I pulled the dart out and threw it at some hunters," he went on, seriously.
"Wow," I said.
As the teacher, Mrs. Wager walked by, I told her of Sebastian's tale of adventure. I said, "I think he's going to be a writer."
To Sebastian, the tale was true. The line between fantasy and reality had blurred momentarily.
Reality--it's such a subjective thing, I thought. I've become very aware of that this week in wrestling through with one friend, to a point of really understanding one another.
At one point, in response to an email I had sent, she wrote back (and I have permission to share), "Can you hear what you're saying here? It sounds like you're saying you are good and I am not. Can you see that? "
I hadn't thought I was saying that in my email, but when I took a closer look at what I'd written, I realized that just like Sebastian, I had indeed cast myself as the hero of the Story-In-My-Mind; and it was evident in my words.
It makes me reflect on other conflicts and be open to seeing them differently. On my vacation I have learned that I have a tendency to think I am right and a stubborn defense mechanism against challenges to my rightness.
The hairdresser holds up the mirror so that I can see the back of my head--and sometimes I have been surprised to see a mass of curls standing out where I had expected smooth and understated. Good friends can be God's mirrors.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your goodness; your blessings--your gifts of love and friendship. I pray that my heart will have more space in it for your gentleness, grace and humility.
Titus 3:4-7 (New International Version)
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.