My friend Adriana posted this poem on her blog Classical Quest this week, and I thought I'd share it for my Monday morsel today.
Emily Dickinson's poetry is always revelatory. There are many creatures -- and many people for that matter -- whose uniqueness and gifts and beauty go unnoticed by the world ... and even by themselves at times. There's something poignant about that, but it's also the way God created the world, and we know He sees every sparrow that falls.
How many Flowers fail in Wood— Or perish from the Hill— Without the privilege to know That they are Beautiful—
How many cast a nameless Pod Upon the nearest Breeze— Unconscious of the Scarlet Freight— It bear to Other Eyes—
Where are you going, my little one, little one, Where are you going, my baby, my own? Turn around and you're two, Turn around and you're four, Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door. Turn around, turn around, Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door.
(by Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds, and Alan Greene c. 1957)
Here is another blog post from my archives: this was written in July of 2012.
Yesterday I was very grumpy with Jonathan. Everything he did and said
(and how he did and said it) annoyed me, and I couldn't wait till he
went to bed. Then he got up twice AFTER going to bed. It was hot and
sticky and I felt so irritable with him I could hardly stand it or
This morning he went off to Extend-a-Family camp with a big smile on his
face, and I got thinking about how, no matter what, I'm always eager to
see him when 4:00 rolls around -- even though he immediately starts
quizzing me about whether I've gone to the library and what we are
having for supper and whether there will be a newspaper tomorrow and
whether it's garbage day and whether he can have Cheesies for a snack
and so on and so on.
EAF camp has many special needs children -- some are verbal, some not;
some are independently mobile, some not; some are social, some not.
Without actually comparing people (which is a waste of time), I can't
help thinking of all the positive qualities Jonathan has:
- He is affectionate and friendly, not aloof or off in his own world. He loves to snuggle.
- He takes pleasure in simple things and remembers those simple
pleasures months and years after they happen (going for ice-cream with
Grandma & Grandpa in PEI, going to McDonald's on the trip out east,
doing a giant hockey puzzle at his cousins' house, having hot dogs and
sausages at someone's house after church, etc.).
- He can communicate. He understands everything said to him and
verbalizes his own needs and ideas more and more clearly all the time.
- He holds no grudges and keeps no record of wrongs; he only remembers the good things.
- He treats everyone the same regardless of age, ability, or status.
- He is honest. He never pretends or deceives.
Anyone who is reading this probably already knows all this. So really, I guess, I wrote it for me.
From The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu: Forgiveness is not some airy-fairy thing. It has to do with the real world. Healing and reconciliation are not magic spells. They do not erase the reality of an injury. To forgive is not to pretend that what happened did not happen. Healing does not draw a veil over the hurt. Rather, healing and reconciliation demand an honest reckoning. For Christians, Jesus Christ sets the pattern for forgiveness and reconciliation. He offered his betrayers forgiveness. Jesus, the Son of God, could erase the signs of leprosy; heal those broken in body, mind, or spirit; and restore sight to the blind. He must also have been able to obliterate the signs of the torture and death he endured. But he chose not to erase that evidence. After the resurrection, he appeared to his disciples. In most instances, he showed them his wounds and his scars. This is what healing demands. Behavior that is hurtful, shameful, abusive, or demeaning must be brought into the fierce light of truth. And truth can be brutal. In fact, truth may exacerbate the hurt; it might make things worse. But if we want real forgiveness and real healing, we must face the real injury.