Hope...

It's #2 sons 14th birthday today - tomorrow, early in the a.m. he & I are off to San Francisco for a one-day speed tour of the City. We're going to AT &T Park for a tour; to Ghirardelli Square for some chocolate & na-nas; to Pier 39 for... Pier 39. And maybe the Hard Rock Cafe. And then we're off to the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. Why a hospital?

#2 son has been asking a lot of questions about my brother Johnny - wanting to know him, reconstruct his likes/dislikes, experience the personality of the one uncle that he knows only through pictures, a few home videos, & the stories of those who knew him. A part of Johnny's story involves his battle with cancer - & UCSF is where almost 5% of his life was lived - for treatment, recovery, & the like. And #2 son wants to know this place - & as difficult as it is for me to go there, with the painful memories, sorrow, & loss... we're going.


Makes me feel a bit pensive - leaves me wondering, examining how I see the world, or how I view it. The lens through which I see it, a lens that I believe I am responsible for putting on/taking off. Watching the news, checking in with Drudge, hearing story after story of the dismal economy, holiday season layoffs, record high home foreclosures, equally high number of bankruptcies, & a war in the Middle East that just doesn't seem to get any closer to resolution... a lens of 'reality'... reminds me that I want to, I need to choose something different.

I don't want to choose negativity, to speak words of 'reality,' death, nitpickiness, complaint, slander, criticism, harshness, destruction - over & about me or others. I think that I'm finding that a person will find just what it is that is looked for. And if my lens is negative, down, destructive, 'reality based,' I will find those things - & think on them. Talk about them. Spread the cloud of negativity like a flu-virus in the wintertime spreads.

I'm challenged to take on a new lens, one that almost feels forced, like a new pair of glasses that have never been worn, all the while knowing that the new glasses are the right prescription, & they fit like they should - but I'm so used to ill-fitting, poorly prescribed glasses that the real deal, the good ones don't seem right. Its upside down, & I want to be right side up.

The new lens is to look to enjoy life's relationships - rather than to pick them apart as inadequate, to place blame where its due -instead to be a radical extender of grace, esp. where it's not 'deserved'... as if I have deserved it ever? To look for joy instead of sorrow - to hope & to be filled with hope, even when the 'track record' tells me otherwise. To have faith, to believe against all odds that the One I serve really is able to move mountains. To perform what He says. To rescue. To deliverer. To transform.

Maybe this makes me an optimist. A deny-er of so-called reality... So be it. And my answer to you is:

Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.... [W]e're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Puddleglum - The Silver Chair, from The Chronicles of Narnia


Here's to looking for Overland.

9 launchings into the blogosphere....:

Erica said...

The AT&T park and just walking the streets of San Francisco are one of my favorite things about that city. Hope that you and Joey have a memorable time and here is to looking at life with a different pair of prescription glasses

noel said...

Louie, I am so proud of you.
San Fran is a great city to share with your 14 year old son and even if some of it is to reflect on where Johnny's earthly life ended the truly great thing is that he is always remembered and in ways that would make him oh so happy.
I am sure you are already back but I just want to say that I am proud of you.
For going there- and for becoming a forced optimist.
I bet Joey will never forget this day.

Dennis said...

...beautiful.

digapigmy said...

sorry you never quite found it, but i'm sure that it was a good trip nonetheless.

it's amazing how bad news often precedes actual bad events. the recession was widely reported (and used in political campaigning) long before any actual negative effects were seen. perhaps many people don't understand that predictions are the second or third strongest leading indicators of the state of the economy.

laura said...

I think its so awesome that you did this... my dad used to take us for special days when I was a kid and those are some of my most treasured memories:)

Alex said...

Saw the pictures at Facebook, I bet Joey had a great time!!!

JayBird said...

beautiful words.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Overland Park is about 30 minutes from me, maybe you should drop by sometime. And if not to see me, there's a Cheesecake Factory.