The other morning I was having coffee with my good friend, Scott.  Scott's a man I love and admire for many reasons, but, primarily because he's a man.  (Whoa.  Suddenly things seem to have taken a weird turn)  What I mean is that he's one of those people that you can't help but look up to because of his humanity.  I mean, he's real.  He knows his limitations and his strengths; and that empowers him to not hold back when he points yours out to you.  But, he doesn't do it in an accusing way.  He has a sense about him that you come off feeling like someone's just held up a mirror to you.  And that's love; and lovable.

Jesus tells us to love each other.  Not only that, but, to love each other as we, ourselves, would have others love us.

The reason I was having coffee with Scott is because I was concerned for him.  This past May, a group of my students, "my guys", graduated from my school.  They've all gone off and are embarking on "the rest of their lives."  The rest of us are still here slinging arrows and takin' 'em, too, back here at home.  Last week, back here at home, we had our annual Back-to-School nights at my school.  At the Back-to-School night for our School of Rhetoric (High School equivalent), it didn't pass my attention that "my guys" weren't there.  It was a bit odd and I could feel a definite hole in my heart where they once stood; and now they're gone.  And they're not even my kids!  So, I saw my friend Terry and asked him, "So.  How're ya doin'?"  Terry said everything was cool.  But that, every now and then, he'd get gripped by his missing his son so bad.  Just the day before, I ran into a colleague from the Grammar School campus and she told me her husband was having a really tough time with having their son go off to college.  Both of their sons are in New York City, now.  Going to college.  Terry told me everything was cool 'till he saw his son descend the stairway to the subway to go off into his new adventure.  I told him the story my colleague's husband spoke at the same sight.  He grabbed his son and held him and asked, "Do you know I love you?  Do you really know?  Do you really know how proud I am of you?"

As I heard Sandy speak those words to me about her husband, I couldn't help but get all teary -- and my own son is (seemingly) light years away from that (he's almost 13).  And Terry told me he'd done the same with his son.  I could feel the tug in my heart because I know those boys so well.  I've invested so much of myself into them that I could feel his sadness and pride, but to a lesser degree, of course.  

So I was sitting across the table from Scott, having coffee, and asking him how he's coming along with having his son take wing.  I thank God I have brothers who will share their lives with me like that.  They set me straight, they lead a path and set a template that I can follow as I navigate my own life, and that of my family.  I sat there trying to love my friend by offering an ear and maybe a shoulder should he need it, there was a transaction that took place.  It's a transaction that always takes place when we love others in a manner that we need to be loved.

He, in the words of his story, we ministering to me.  He was lighting a path that I might follow.  All of them.  Scott, Terry, Sandy's husband.  It's a cycle that never ends.  Someone told me a long time ago that to be smart is to learn from your mistakes, and to be wise is to learn from other's mistakes.  I'm trying to learn from other people's real lives


eva santiago September 03, 2012 @01:39 pm

I can empathize here with you. Elena just turned 18 and she finished home school this year. I never thought the day would come when one of mine would be done, but it did. They don't grow up any faster than we did, life just goes at killer speed and we don't like it is all! Great post!!

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