I saw this picture on a Google+ post the other day, and I keep going back to it because I loved the question posed: If you could sit on this bench and chat for 1 hour with anyone from the past or present who would it be?
For me it wasn’t hard to decide, it would be my grandmother.
We really wouldn’t have to speak. Just being near her would be enough to bring me joy. There was always kindness in the way she looked at me, or patted my hands or smiled.
I felt loved.
We would watch the ocean breathe – that’s what we called it when the water would lap at the shore. “See dat oshun breeve,” she would say and I laughed because I would change the cadence of my breathing to match the ocean.
In her world nothing had to be complicated, everything happened for a reason, and you should always be prepared to have your faith tested.
She said that life was like the ocean that it provided a steady flow of opportunities. As soon as one left here comes another ready to be seized.
She went on to say that the ocean could also hurt or heal you.
I know that’s true because once when I was 7 I sliced my foot under one of the piers. Someone left a shard of broken glass on the beach of all places, and lo and behold I stepped right on it. She immediately sent me to the ocean.
“Stick yo foot in da wata,” she motioned with her hands. And I complied, completely unsure in my 7-year-old mind that it would work.
After a few minutes, the bleeding stopped. The wound was clean, and she kept me next to her for the remainder of that afternoon while we feed the seagulls.
But, if we –did– have a chance to talk again, I would tell her how my faith is being tested right now. That at times I go along perfectly content and on purpose and then suddenly I feel … off-track.
I could see her dark eyes narrow with concern, her mouth pulled in a straight line. The soft breeze would whistle past our ears and little tufts of her gray hair would dance in the wind.
She’d probably squeeze my hand and say, “Havin’ faith ain’t easy.”
She would tell me that faith is like forgiveness, it’s ongoing. It doesn’t stop.
You don’t reach the end of faithfulness. It endures. It calls upon you every day to decide, and your faith is demonstrated through your actions, your thoughts, and your words.
So you see, I know I came across that picture for a reason. . . at least that’s what my grandmother would say.
What about you? If you could sit on this bench and chat for 1 hour with anyone from the past or present who would it be?