Saturday, July 14, 2007

All people have one desire in this short life, we long for love. Every being is given a chance to receive this love. Each person born into this life has a fair, equal chance to recieve the greatest gift of all time. Every person is given a family through which we are supposed to receive love.

Sometimes, though, these love-giving units from God are destroyed. This destruction comes from two sources. When we least expect it, when times are most jovial, death strikes. This great ultimate steals the life of those we value most. Other times, the Evil One steals into homes and lodges hate between the family members. These victim souls sadly do not know true, constant, unconditional love. They open their hearts to those it is most natural to allow in, and these people tear and cut the inside. The consequences are deep and silent, until actions by the ignorant cause defensive reactions from those terrified, deeply tortured souls. They trust no one, yet they reach out to everyone hoping to gain the love they starve for so greatly.

Sometimes, these people are given second chances. The One Who is Love sends them people--special people--who have been sent to repair the ache. These little saviours suffer rebuffs and refusals, but they push anyway. They aching soul finally recieves love, often for the first time. These people, often thought of as Angels, are friends.

These friends cannot concieve the immense vocation they are fulfilling. When the aching soul attempts to thank the angels, they humbly refuse the gratitude. The magic, the power, the grace of this affirming, healing, gift of love causes the soul to feel special, wanted, even need for the first time. And the Angels have no idea what they've done.

But, unlike families, these friends often have a far shorter time together. God sends them on to other souls. The aching soul wonders why--why is one given the gift of love only to have it taken away. Then, the answer comes.

These hungry, empty souls--so many in this life--are yearning to be filled. Those few who are given the blessing of friends are given a small, lesser taste of the Love one Man offers us. The angels gently take the hands of those hurting souls and walk them toward the Eternal Light. They give us a sample of true love during this short journey, leaving us thirsty for more but also newly cognizant of the source.
"Don't forget that we never really say good-bye,
we'll always be together in His Sacred Heart."

Those aching souls, now full, have a strange yearning to seek other empty, aching souls and, taking thier hands, give them the love that now fills every part of their being. They know the pain of loneliness and now they know love and the strong desire to fill the empty shells.

These we call friends do not leave us. They simply leave one another's company to continue thier selfless giving. Those now filled begin thier new quest to fill the desire of emptying one's self through love. All the friends find those who are alone and hurting. They fill and repair these souls. Through following this path, and after death comes to all those angelic souls, they truly do find themselves together in His Heart. Together, they rest in the Source of all true, good love. These friends, then, do us no disfavor in leaving; they simply continue walking towards His heart amassing souls. The choice lies with those now given it: Shall I follow? Thus, through our earthly friends, we truly meet our Eternal Friend.

A Random Realization

I really do not know why I thought the late nights and studying would end when I recieved my college diploma. Mistakenly, I assumed the cramming, intense reading and note taking, and class organization would end when my undergrad days did. I would pick those habits back up when I went back to school for my Master's. Not so much.

Every night this week has found me up as late as midnight, typing ideas on the computer or reading out of the school books. I've been trying to figure out what to teach and what to leave out, how to organize the classes, and how to make things run as smoothly as possible. I want to do right and teach those kids as best I can. I want them to know the Truth and know how to use it. I want to teach the kids properly, showing them that learning can be fun. I want to teach them how the Faith is in every aspect of our society.

The other night, a thought occurred to me. I think I discovered the real grain behind teaching. A good teacher wants to teach much; a great teacher wants to learn much. I am very excited to see what I learn this coming year. We think we know everything, but we all know so little. Most often, it is those who are younger than us who know more than we.

So, I shall keep my journey here, for those who care to follow along. And you, my humble reader, may share your thoughts with me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dancing Ladybugs

Recently, my three sisters and I were overjoyed when we found we'd be alone an entire weekend. My parents were leaving for a weekend to get some much needed relaxation. They left last Friday evening and we spent the weekend bonding, burning, and watching.

Saturday, after spending several hours getting sunburned at the pool, we came home pained and tired. Dinner, we decided would consist of the pizza Mom had left and enjoying home videos. As we travelled through the last five years of the Smith Family journey, I realized how much had changed in our lives. As we started out, we were still together as one family. But, that was short lived. We watched Justin prepare for and marry all over again, looked on as Drew left home to discover his own path, I left for College and graduated. Emily departed for College, as well, and began dating. Laura and Kathleen watched as their family separated.

The same weekend, my twin brother called with some saddening news. After suffering a great deal over the last few years, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. He lost it. And we cried with him. Kathleen, the youngest, let tears fall freely from her eyes. "I just want to hug him, but he's so far away. I hate being the youngest. I hate having to watch everyone leave!" How terribly sad.

When Justin got married, we children were thrilled. This meant nieces, nephews, and a wonderful wife. But, in a way, we were a little sad, too. The King of Narnia had relinquished his rule. The tight-knit, imaginative Smith clan had realized its first step towards dissolution. The eventual disbanding is inevitable and is something we children feared through out our entire childhood. Losing one another.

I used to think how lucky we were. We children went without so much, materially speaking. No televisions existed in our room, we could not fathom having our own telephone. But, we had each other. Especially we four older children. We spun creative games that would have marvelled even Aesop. Flying animals that saved the world from destruction. A magical kingdom that existed solely on imagination and Faith. Christmas in July and dancing ladybugs in December. Yes, we kids were blessed. And then came the end.

But, we were the end. While we older children bravely took the first step out of the nest, Kathleen and Laura were forced to watch, and stay behind. Yes, they had to suffer through four good-byes and the house became progressively quieter. The flying animals went their separate ways to save the world in different places. The ladybugs flew to different valleys. The King found a Queen. Now, Kathleen and Laura live for the days when the four older children are at home. When the house is full of screams and giggles again. They feed off of the still existent imagination of their older siblings when they are home. Which is not often enough.

As I think back to times long gone, I remember a young blond boy who wove threads of lore into fanciful games and five younger children who clapped and jumped, hanging on for the next idea. I recall a red-headed boy who quietly stood by his brother's side and made intricate toys from Lego's and string. I remember a small, blond girl who lived for each day and revelled in the magic of games. There was a brunette who stood right along side her older sister, waiting to go dance across their bedroom and pull out the Barbie tub. Then, two more girls followed, who were dubbed princesses and carried around on pillows. Time seemed to stretch on and the children lived for each Holiday, most especially Christmas. Magic seemed to perpetually exist visually in the air and one only had to reach out and grasp it.

Now, I see different times. The blond boy lives in South Dakota and has a wife and baby. He makes his family proud with his vast education and incredible job. The red-headed boy became sad and moved far away, still trying to find his way back. The small, blond girl feels acutely the pain of each member of her family as they struggle with their Crosses. She is graduated from College and is all grown up. The brunette holds a lot inside and has become quiet lately. She is in College now and has someone special. The two youngest girls watch quietly and patiently as their siblings go off to fight the good fight, to follow God's will. And sometimes they cry.

Taking the first step out of the nest was scary and daunting. To gather all one's courage and leap meant complete trust. However, I would not trade it for the other option. To be forced to watch a family slowly separate and expand has to be extremely painful. The entirety of my sisters' lives and memory has been saying good-bye. My sister Emily brought up a very good point: "When Kathleen became old enough to finally appreciate what was occurring around her, Justin left." We all soon followed suit. Thankfully, we have our Faith. As Justin has pointed out many times, we all must strive for Heaven. How often I have thought of this. In Heaven we shall never have to say good-bye ever again. Heaven will be the combination of dancing ladybugs in December and Christmas in July, of flying animals and tangible magic. Best of all, we shall all be together for eternity, with the real King, the One Who never relinquishes His rule.