I’m reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. It’s been a hard book to read; lots of pain.
“If you hear in my voice — I don’t know that it is so, but I hope it is — if you hear in my voice any resemblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your ears, weep for it, weep for it!
If you touch, in touching my hair, anything that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you were young and free, weep for it, weep for it!
If, when I hint to you of a Home that is before us, where I will be true to you with all my duty and with all my faithful service, I bring back the remembrance of a Home long desolate, while your poor heart pined away, weep for it, weep for it!” 1
Over the years I’ve met so many people at TreeHouse, most of them wonderful, remarkable people.
After about ten years of meeting teens and parents, building relationships, watching teens and their families grow up and away together I knew that the grief and loss was taking a toll.
For weeks I felt like I should take the hundreds and hundreds of TreeHouse visitor cards and thank God for each one and pray for them individually.
I knew it would take forever, and it did. I started after work one night and I stayed in my office all night long praying for one person after another. From Ann Marie, the first teen I had met to the new teens who walked in the door that week. I prayed for each one.
It was hard. It was sad. It was healing.
I thought tears would flow all night.
I was wrong. I cried, exactly one tear at the end of the night (morning).
I count those relationships as treasures, though it’s important to remember to hold onto them loosely.
“Relationships – of all kinds – are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is.The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.” 2
Hold loosely, but stand by your friends: “A friend is loving at all times, and becomes a brother in times of trouble.” 3 For, “There are persons for companionship, but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.” 4
When people think of us as friends, may we be known for our love.
1 – Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (p. 29).
2 – Kaleel Jamison, The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power: A Book about Leadership, Self-Empowerment, and Personal Growth
3 – Proverbs 17:17, BBE
4 – Proverbs 18:24, CEB