This post has been lingering in my line up for a while now and I have toyed with many different ideas of how it should go. And I am still not sure this is how I want it to go, but I need to let go of it and move on to other wonderful posts that need to be written. I have written countless entries about my interactions with strangers and about my loved ones. So I guess this would be a mix of the two.
I had the pleasure of accompanying a dear friend (who is becoming like family more and more every day) to the Getty museum. We both needed a change, an adventure, something to take us out of where we were both currently standing. I am glad I said yes to the adventure, because when I say adventure it was nothing short of just that. We walked the gardens, took photos, made up stories about strangers, and even befriended one. His name was Simon. The best way to describe it is soul recognition. I know it is a strange phrase, but there was something about this kid that stuck out to me and I couldn't shake. I know he felt it too because he walked right up to us and said, "I think we are supposed to meet." The next two hours were a bit of a blur as I caught a glimpse of this stranger that didn't feel so strange.
We ended the night with a 10 minute walk down a curvy road and for some reason I knew I would never forget that walk. I felt so alive. I was thinking, being creative, being challenged, and just excited about life. Simon felt it too. We took a ride on the lifts going up and down, up and down, finally to the discovery of Simon's car where, he opened his trunk to a full load of all sorts of different books, mostly about art, life, poetry, and even a bit of religion. My eyes caught a glimpse of a Jewish heritage book and I was intrigued. He made a remark about our faith that my friend and I totally disagreed with (about how Christian's don't get to truly live) and I knew I couldn't be silent. So I shared the most important thing I had with a stranger I barely knew but knew there was something more than meets the eye. Within a matter of moments that stranger became a wilted flower. He had vanished right before my very eyes and I don't think I saw anyone run (metaphorically) so fast in my life.
I know Simon is still out in the world, somewhere in Southern California, riding his bike, or in his car generously giving away his beautiful book collection. That night something in my heart ached and broke. Maybe because the one I truly loves has told me that my heart will break for the things that break His.
My heart breaks for you Simon. I have thought about you almost every day since our encounter. I do not judge you. I do not condemn you. I am just thinking about you and praying for you. Hoping that one day you will truly know what it means to live in the midst of intimacy and rejection.
*photo by Nan, inspired by Heidi