Monday, December 05, 2005

Notes left behind...

Now and then in my travels I'll find little notes left in a hotel room or similar place. Today while traveling to Virginia on business I found one such note in my rental car after landing at Reagan International in Washington, DC. The note, written in blue ink on a pink marbled parchment read simply thus:
Dad spoke 'loudest' when he said nothing at all.
Instead of telling us not to do something.

That was it. Subtle, and one I almost tossed back into place without thinking twice about it. But then I read it again and the words really sunk in. What sage advice for a young father such as myself prone to insisting upon perfection unattainable by me a few years shy of 40, yet insisted upon in my soon-to-be 10-year old son. How utterly unreasonable and absurd I must seem to him at times.

The lessons I take from this note are legion. But before my son learns to zone me out completely, I need to put this note to work in my life as a father. And once again I find myself thinking back on Henry Nouwen's reflections on the story of the prodigal son. The father never shouted, screamed or insisted upon anything except his son's both knowing that they are loved. I shall begin insisting upon that when I return home tomorrow evening.

By the way, I'm going to put the note back in the rental car when I return it tomorrow as well. And then I'm going to start thinking of little sayings of my own to leave behind when I travel or visit someplace. Perhaps it's time to leave some as well as receive some. After all, it is the season of giving......


At 7:34 AM, Blogger FieldOfBarley said...

Beautiful! Isn't it funny what little things sometimes ultimately change our lives by changing our outlook? Even bumper stickers suddenly moving into view where I can't miss reading them, like last week's: 3 ascending doves on a black background with these words under them, "Speak the language." God knows, I certainly want to. Perhaps that's His, "Just do it!"

A former Candidate relates the impetus of how she came to enter the Catholic Church: Her bicycle's chain came off while cycling in town, nearly pitching her to the ground. It had been such a bad day (and such a bad life -- she'd been feeling so alone and abandoned ever since her father and his friends used her in childhood satanic rites, when her mom had looked away..) She just sat on the sidewalk asking Him why so much always went so wrong..did He not love her?

She had landed directly in front of our church, and she got up to read the lettering carved into the marble just above the door, "Come to Me, all who are heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest."

:-) Amen. It was so.


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