Friday, November 11, 2005

Life in the Bubble

I live in a bubble. I like to think I don't, but I do. There are times I want to break out of that bubble. Today I was at the grocery store behind an elderly man. He was thin and bent over slightly. His hands had that look of wrinkled paper. I spent a few minutes studying the groceries he put on the conveyer belt. It was obvious he lived alone. Frozen pizzas and TV dinners. Salisbury Steak, Chicken Fried Chicken, and Barbeque Chicken. I know the nutritional value in those is pretty close to nill. And I wondered if there was a time in his life when someone made those things for him...for real. If at one time he had a sweet wife who made a fuss over him and made sure he ate well. I wondered if he had children, and if so, did they ever make food for him? I watched him pay for his groceries in food stamps and gather the sacks into his cart. He wasn't moving very fast. The lady behind the checkout quickly started ringing up my two items and had my total ready before he could move. I tried to stand back so as not to rush him. I paid for my things and followed slowly behind him out the door. As I drove home I wondered if I would be in that same position one day...eating TV dinners alone and wishing for the days when our house was busy and noisy and filled with smells and sounds of family life. Wishing I had a reason to cook and make a mess in the kitchen. I thought of my parents, and how I would do everything within my power to make sure they never spent a lonely day in their last days. And then I wondered why I hadn't spoken to him. Why didn't I offer to make him a meal, maybe once or twice a week? My heart ached for him. The Holy Spirit was nudging me and I fear I missed an opportunity to somehow let that man know someone cares. I contemplated turning the car and around and trying to find him, but I didn't know which car he got in. I was sorry. He may have looked at me like I was a lunatic and run the other direction, but he might have been so happy to have somene make a fuss over him again. Today I wanted to pop this bubble and venture out into that man's world and show him a small kindness.

Then again, there are times I want to keep my family inside our bubble and make us invisible to the entire world.
Tonight I made the mistake of watching the news. I try to avoid the news because there is always a story of someone doing something disgusting to a child. And tonight was no exception. There are sick people in the world...truly. And before them were sick people who started them down the road to sickness and from that comes more sick people. I am deeply disturbed at the unthinkable things people are capable of. Even parents who have been given a child to care for and protect dismiss their God-given privilege. I can't stomach it. I want to scream and cry and never let my children out of my sight. The thought of something happening to one of my children literally makes my stomach turn. I believe I could kill anyone who did harm to them...literally. Why? Why do we do this to each other?

Yes, there are sick people in the world. But I always wonder, what happened to them? At one time they were sweet, beautiful babies, just waiting to be nurtured and molded. Someone didn't do their job. Someone let them down in the worst imaginative way.

And I understand what an awesome responsibility I've been given. Obviously, to my own children. But also, to gather up the courage to pop my bubble and move outside the place I am most comfortable. God, make me sensitive and bold. Help me spread the Light.

1 comment:

h b said...

you do realize you should print these all out and organize them into a cute little book, right? i will get my copy autographed!