I had a chance to sit down over a cup of tea with the daughter of a survivor of the Norwich Blitz the other day. I won’t soon forget this encounter. I haven’t had time to process all the wisdom and hope she shared, but as we parted ways, my heart was full to overflowing. How one person could exude such grace, understanding, and forgiveness is beyond me. I’ll share more soon, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into her heart with this short excerpt of our time together.
She reached into her tote to pull out a scrap of paper and a pencil – anything to scribble her number on that we might chat again. Out tumbled much of the contents of her bag, and she apologized, scrambling to contain the mess.
I saw her eyes change for just a second as they rested on one of the objects. It looked to be a mouth guard of some sort. She paused as her hand rested on it, and then picked it up with a laugh. “He said I snored. I searched and searched for the best anti snoring mouthpiece out there and finally found this – the Good Morning Snore Solution. After so much loss in your life, you don’t want a silly thing like snoring to build walls between you.”
She went on to share how with much of the same sentiment, her husband of 30 years went to buy earplugs. They had a good laugh as each of them presented their gifts to the other. No resentments, a promise they both shared. They realize the brevity of life, and how things can change in an instant, passed down from this generation of hope.
It struck me deeply, this cherishing of life, this keeping walls from building in relationships. It is quite intentional and involves a great deal of sacrifice of self. But this sweet lady, who has lived so much life, and with so much more to live, knows it is worth it.
I left with a desire to tear down some walls I built a long time ago, and the determination to keep them from being built. To walk forward in hope.
Won’t you join me?