That night…

November 7, 2010

The trails of children following children,
children leading children,
children enjoying children…
the transcendant smiles,
the giggles,
the laughter,
the skips,
the hops,
the choices…

Uninhibitted by unecessary parental intervention…
though the eyes of their protectors constantly over-look…

trails of little feet, following invisible paths
in
out
and around

all the legs and chairs and tables and cheers in a roomfull of child-loving adults…

the dim light, with Frank Sinatra’s voice sneaking in from the hallway…

a waiter dressed in white with a black vest, slips through the crowd, not as unnoticed as the trails of knee-high kids.

the back-wall-sitters, empty plates in hand, just watching…

tired faces…

Tiredest of all…
Tall-charactered men, holding their little ones in their arms, softly, sternly, in the language of encouragement, speak hope and truth into the ears and souls of those who had just begun to sink into a God-ordained defeat…
 
Non-politic related discussions happening next to the long-ago pictures of Italian life…

The motionless faces staring out from the wall: a grinning kid in a black and white class picture, and underneath, the wind-worn face of a grandmother born in a century a few books back on the shelf from our own.  Oh, how differently stories used to be told…

and yet, how much we are the same…

An queasiness in my stomach… hard to distinguish from the pit of sorrow in my soul. It seemed to possess such a slippery opening that all other thoughts had to fight to stay out of that grave.

A young lady, full of happy, gentle words, herding other’s children, like a loving, born-for-the-job, shepherdess…

A door on the side, near the back, open just enough for half a dozen teenagers to slip out and sit in the cold, warming their egos by the warmth of friendship… finding it hard to care about the cause, when the world is still falling together in their minds…

Back to talks of knives and tactics, and gravity-less theories…

The pit in my stomach grows…

Stories shared from the front of the room, of God’s faithfulness and goodness and grace…
Now a prayer… and one more story… then a yell, from a dear, deaf man, “Never give UP!”

With several clumsy words, a young man manages to step on the toes of an elegant character… for all the elegant beauty a character may possess, all still have toes, upon which certain persons usually manage to find ways of stepping.

As goodnights meant as goodbyes, float like leaves to the ground… the maze of the dim-lit restaraunt, slowly spins around and the cold night air rushes through the open doors and four feet, two souls, one spirit, make their way across an emptying parking lot, and with one final wave to a few fellow soldiers, that night…

Rounds the last corner and is pulling into the long drive toward the familiar house of sleep.
A few words are shared on the way up that drive. Not much needs said…

To be with a sister, is sometimes better than to be without… and to be without words, is sometimes better than to be with.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.”

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