Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Honest Moment at Midnight

And so it is 11:52 PM and my house is a sort of silent chaos. The dog is pacing circles around the perimeter of the couch that holds me and he smells a sort of bizarre mixture of shampoo and animal musk. He rolled in something nasty again a few days ago... although I bathed him in a mixture of baking soda, dish detergent, hydrogen peroxide, dandruff shampoo, and doggie cologne... he still carries a waft of nastiness underneath his rosy aroma (kind of like an old man that sprays old spice to mask his B.O.).

Sterling is asleep upstairs, but I forgot to give her her antibiotic to combat her inner ear infection... and of course when I hear her shift and fuss, I try to administer a latent dose to no avail. I retreat as I realize that the distaste of the pink medication will surely cause a Class One Square Mouth Fit (really she screams with a sort of triangle shape... it is kind of cute, but not a midnight) and so I relent and sneak back downstairs.

Aleksandra is asleep in the same room, it is amazing that she can actually snore and flatulate while her sister thrashes and explosively screams... while I bubble about in the darkness. I walk over and hold Aleksandra's hand as I am surprised that it is nearly adult size and I remember that it surely was only just last week that it was the size of Sterling's. I feel a little melancholy as I hug her close.

I attempt to upload photos into Photobucket while simultaneously download them on a CD so that I can clear up space on our aging MacBook... and I burn the midnight hour, watching Netflix and responding to various bumps in the night as Kellie lays upstairs and battles some relentless intestinal microorganism. Lysol hangs in the air as I gird my immunity with defense!

I think of the day that awaits me like a tiger in the bushes, and I know that it will surely pounce as I force my red and dry eyes open as my phone heralds the morning. My job has been as eventful as my nights... and I feel my countenance fall as I reflect on the circumstance of the day. One of my young employees has passed away tragically. He was a good, intelligent young man. He dropped out of college to provide care for his dying father. He sacrificed his future to care for the man who gave him life. He was walking home while a bullet entered the back of his head and snuffed out his life.

He is gone.

I feel nearly insane as I reflect that on the night he died, I was in a church service... writing down his name on a card, listing him as one of 4 people who I committed to pray for... and at that moment, he slipped from this terrestrial ground into the vastness of forever. How can this be? Do we even know how fragile each breath really can be? I thought I had time to walk a path with him. And he is gone.

Today we had our annual business review. I work for a major Fortune 50 company. Today we honored 3 individuals with the coveted "Chairman's Award." I silently wished that I could have one... and also wrestled with the realization that if I won it, I would need to give it away or destroy it... to prove to myself that it really didn't matter. I was frustrated with my own conflict. The recipients of the award won it for: years of service, successful completion of a major program, and being nice to suffering people. I saw value and worth in each award. These were good people who were willing to stand and do good where they live.

I hope that someday I can accomplish something of meaning. I contrast this wish of success against the senseless death of my employee and I try to find some meaning in the chaos between. I fear that I may have missed a moment of significance with him. He has gone before me into eternity. I hope he walks with God.

This past Sunday, Kellie and I had the opportunity to speak our hearts, our passion, and our vision to a congregation. It was an incredible experience. We printed out our pamphlets, we set up our table, we accepted the help of family and close friends to make it happen. We were the featured missionaries to kick off "Faith Promise Sunday." We spoke of Catalyst Resources International and our work with them. We showed pictures of the girls who have had their lives changed by the missionary family who took them in.

I pray tonight that our words touched a few hearts. We are simply a school teacher and a retail manager who want to live by our beliefs. We love our children and we battle the same basic fears that all parents face. And we feel this need to protect and hold close... so intensely as we break from the safety and mold of suburbia. We know that what we do is right, and we we know that it is worth it. And yet, we are still flesh and blood.  We do feel the ebb and pull of living. We simply hold to the truth that belief is more important that experience.

Should he strike me down tonight, or one of my own... it is still good that I follow Him. There is no other path for me. He is my focus... in the chaos.

I rest my head in peace.

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