Inside Looking Out: The becoming
He was to become a doctor, a life saver, a care giver that no disease could ever fight and expect to win.
She was to become a teacher, a wonder worker, a dream maker for children to believe in possibilities.
He could have been that young man with a zest for hope, a beacon of light in a world so dark and so desperate for him to share his faith with others. He was going to be different in an extraordinary way. The science of medicine would transcend into bedside manners for empowering his patients to lead happy and healthy lives.
When he was to become old enough to receive his calling, he would hear a voice speak into his mind. “You have a gift, a special talent, something not learned but given to you by a higher power. It will be your duty to offer your gift to the sick and to the needy, to let them trust in the truth they will see in your eyes.”
She was to become a precocious child, known by her neighbors as the “The One.” Go see The One, they would say. She will show you. You will learn from her to look under the surface of things, not with your eyes, but with your soul and listen, not with your ears, but with your heart. Sit with her under the stars and find what she sees beyond the night sky. She will dance under the glow of the full moon and shout, “Yes!” and together you will feel the simple joy of being alive.
He was just a little boy who would take your hand and your fears would drift away with the wind. You could tell this child would grow up and become a man who would not only heal the body, but heal the heart, too, a man who could unite the divided just by the spirit of his presence.
She was just a little girl who could take your hand and your fears would drift away with the wind. You could tell this child would grow up and become a woman who would walk into a classroom and her students would say they saw sparkles of stardust behind every step she took. Despite the difference between her age and theirs, they would know she was one of them. She understood their littleness, what questions they would ask and what answers to give to those questions. She would read them stories and the characters would jump from the pages to their imaginations and become songs sung into memories that will preserve the joyful child inside of each of them until that final moment when the privilege of old age will come to an end.
When he was 3 years old, his father grabbed hold of him and ran to the shelter. “Why do we have to hide here?” the boy asked. “Because big bad things will fall from the sky and try to hurt us,” said his dad.
“Why are there big bad things falling from the sky?” he would ask.
“Because there are bad people trying to make us go away.”
“Where would we go?” he asked.
“Do not be afraid, my son. Someday you will know. Someday you will find a much better place to be than where we are now.”
“I feel safe, dad. Nothing can hurt me now.”
She ran into her mama’s arms when the big bad things were falling from the sky.
“Mama, why are you crying?” she asked.
“I am afraid for you, my little one. I do not know if I can protect you from the big bad things, but someday you will find a much better place to be than where we are now.”
“I feel safe, mama,” she said. “Nothing can hurt me now.”
He was to become a man of legacy, a patron of peace, a person who judged not color, culture, or creed. He was to be a man who knew how to love and not how to hate and when his country had to fight, to kill, to win, all he would say is what can you win when so many lives have been lost after the big bad things have fallen from the sky.
She was to become a woman of legacy, a patron of peace, a person who judged not color, culture, or creed. She was to be a woman who knew how to love and not how to hate and when her country had to fight, to kill, to win, all she would say is what can you win when so many lives have been lost after the big bad things have fallen from the sky.
From his side of the war, he would have wanted to become her husband. From her side of the war, she would have wished to become his wife.
He was to become the doctor and she was to become the teacher.
Their becoming was never to be.
The boy’s father weeps at his son’s grave.
The girl’s mama cries at her daughter’s grave.
And sitting in their towers, those who had to fight, to kill, to win and had ordered the big bad things dropped from the sky, turned their heads and looked the other way.
More than 6,000 children have been killed thus far in the Israeli-Palestinian War. In World War II, an estimated 1.5 million children died. In the American Civil War, it’s been estimated that 620,000 soldiers and civilians who died were under the age of 17. The youngest Union soldier who survived several battles was drummer boy, Charley King from West Chester, Pa. He was 12. One year later he was killed in the battle at Antietam.
Rich Strack can be reached at email@example.com