I think my extroversion could get the best of me some day. When I travel somewhere alone, I have a compelling desire to people watch – how in the world I accomplish work ever is still beyond me! I’ve been sitting in the same chair for the last 3 hours, and I have watched so many people, but not said a word to a soul. I guess it’s my way of talking – watching conversations, interactions, and thinking about my interactions (or lack thereof) with them.
I’ve realized that I get this intense sadness and hurt every single time I see older people in public. I see old men walking slow, with wrinkles on their faces, a glitter in their eyes, a hunch in their back, arthritic bones, and grandchildren, spouses or children with them and I want to know their stories. But initially, every single time, I almost want to cry. Today alone I’ve had a tear or two well up 4 times (and I don’t think I’ve cried in a month and a half or so…).
It’s even more ironic and confusing when I think about how I love youth ministry. I wonder if there is some unconscious response to know where students can end up, the stories that I won’t hear about, or opportunities lost and found in their futures. I don’t really know.
There’s this older man sitting at a table nearby, with two grandchildren and a daughter. There’s no ring on his left ring finger. He has large glasses (hello, 80s), salt and pepper hair which is almost non-existent on his head, a receding hairline, and a little mustache. His voice is so cute. He’s looked over and smiled a few times while he waited for his family to return. There’s a part of me that is just broken, knowing that some day his family will miss him, he’ll be just a memory.
(Maybe is Rosie Thomas’ fault – I shouldn’t be listening to her and watching him).
I wonder what the end will look like? What was his beginning? What were the middle years like? What were his struggles? What were his joyful celebrations of life? Was he in the room when his daughter was born? Did he cry? All of these stupid questions are circling my mind… I can’t focus on the Psalms. I’m embarrassed to hold up the latest book I’m reading – I don’t want him to think I’m condescending him.
Life is a funny thing… I can be so cold, removed from the world and people at school, and yet the unknown man sitting nearby has had me in near tears twice in the last 30 minutes.
::::::…::::much further to go::::….:::::::::::..:::rosie thomas:::..:::::