I visited recently with someone I’ve known for two-thirds of my life. Circumstances put us together two to three times a year. Through the decades our brief interactions have consisted of pleasant, superficial small talk.
Until this most recent time.
A burger, a po-boy, and a couple of “innocent” questions later and, suddenly, I found myself smack dab in the path of an emotional hurricane. Churning sadness (masquerading as anger?). Tidal waves of raw pain. A whole lifetime of hurt unleashed in a swirl of fast, fierce words. Decades of struggle: trying to forgive, to follow the Golden Rule, to avoid succumbing to bitterness.
When the storm finally passed, I was left to wonder: All those years and all those interactions…how could I have missed such big things? Am I that insensitive and oblivious?
My friend Walt Wiley likes to say: “There’s a drama behind every face.”
Philo of Alexandria put it another way: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
God, make me kinder. Give me eyes to see and a heart that understands–like your eyes and your heart.