They sat again on the deck, by the pond in the garden, talking of many things. Just a man and his father enjoying the afternoon together. A few leaves, already brown, fell gracefully all around at the touch of a breeze.
“I’m curious,” said the man’s father, “why you thought you’d somehow not be sitting at the head table of my dinner party.”
“Remember that time at Steve-O’s house and we were all sitting around his living room. His wife played her guitar, and we sang praise songs. I got up to go to the loo and when I came back, I stood in the arched entry to the living room and watched. As a photojournalist, it seemed so natural to view people from a bit of a distance, to peer into there eyes and faces and souls. It felt comfortable.”
“I recall you thought, too, that it wouldn’t always be that way, gathered that way,” said the man’s father.
“That’s right,” said the man. “Eventually the more people were added to the fellowship. It became a church. Most of the core group from the home fellowship moved on to other places, to do other things. The intimacy of those first days remained only a memory, dimming with time. Yet it seemed a vision of another time to come, in the future, when we’d once again gather together.”
“And you’d feel comfortable only viewing the scene?” the man’s father prodded.
“Well,” said the man, “yes. Besides, at your dinner there’s going to be a lot of incredibly important people at your head table. I couldn’t even consider myself their equal, that I’d have the right to even talk with them, let alone sit near them. I’ve not done anything to be seen by them as their equal.”
“There’s still time,” the man’s father said.
“Time for me to become like them?” asked the man.
“In a world of rank and privilege, of rich and poor, of heroes and commoners,” the man’s father answered, “it’s hard to fathom total equality.”
“Hum,” said the man, thinking. “What do I do then, going forward, not really feeling as though I’ll be acceptable to them, even if I’m acceptable to you?”
“And It’s not about becoming like them,” the man’s father responded. “You are already accepted. Now, live daily who you are. . . AND do the next good thing. Every day is new. Do the next good thing. . . and keep doing it.”
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .