Monday, November 3, 2014

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ Words In The Hands of Love

Welcome to the 2014 BlogBlast For Peace! We hope you are finding inspiration and joy all over the blogosphere today. Please leave your link in the Mr.Linky below so that others may find your work. You can even post your Facebook links below in the comment section too. Many people are using Facebook and Twitter instead of blogs this year. Go to our Fan Page and see over 25,000 35,100+ on the peace page today. You may post your link there as well. Thank you for being here. This is my story for peace day.

Come To The River ~ Words in The Hands of Love

He was hobbling along on the side of the road with a long brown cane in his left hand and a gray plastic bag in the other. Trying to stay on the shoulder and out of traffic. I rounded the curve just in time to see him wobble a bit and just in time to make a split second decision. I pulled into the abandoned parking lot and drove directly toward him as he stepped onto the asphalt left behind by the once thriving and now out-of-business restaurant.  When my car met his left foot, he stopped with a wide-eyed startled jolt. 
(Really, Mimi, said the voice of my mother...what are you doing?)

 Never mind that picking up strangers on the side of the road is on my NEVER-TO-DO list. Never mind that I am known as the resident Suzie Safety wherever I go. Never mind that. I didn't plan this ya know. I was just following the muse. And the muse said clear as day this morning, "Go to the river and write."  That's why I was in my car in the first place on the eve of Dona nobis pacem day. Are you following me? It is all the Muse's fault.  Never in all my years of peace blogging has she said go anywhere but my own backyard. But this year was different.  And here I am with a strange elderly man in an abandoned parking lot in the middle of town. What's he gonna do? Hit me with a cane? I sized him up. I can take him, I thought. He can't run. If worse comes to worse, I'll grab the cane and jump in my car.  I've got this. 
(Really Mimi, said the voice of my mother....are you insane?)

"Do you need a ride home?" I asked. He looked confused. "Is your house near here? I will take you home if you'd like."  Confusing stare. Then the arm-waving started (mine, not his) Maybe he's hard of hearing. "DO. YOU. NEED. A. RIDE.....?" 
"Espanol. Espanol."
Oh. 
"No speak English?"
"No." Thank goodness for that Italian arm-waving gene of mine. Singing "Noche de Pas" was out of the question so I threw out all the Spanish words I knew that I could string along into a sentence-  yo gracias amigo trabajar siempre amiga amigas por favor padre madre adios bueno ninito Jesus si no gracias todo duerme casa maestra escuela otro usted si no coremos (that was unlikely) canta (!) plus anunciando sietete and hola! That's about all I could think of at the moment. Does that make sense to you? No wonder it took five minutes for me to explain that I didn't want to harm him. I didn't know the word for kidnap.  I was only offering a ride.  My mind was aflutter and so were my arms. That way? Far? Left right? Why, oh why, did I fall asleep in Spanish class?

 Aha! Donde! Donde casa? Qui?
"Si! Si!"
He waved his cane in an easterly direction and I opened the car door.  Finally. Communication. I was exhausted


I looked in the backseat as he buckled up. He looked scared. 
 He was still firmly holding the cane and clutching his grocery bag straight through the first light.  I said, "I will drive des-pa-cio (like I thought he couldn't understand it?) des.pa.ci.o!" (I was so proud of myself for remembering the word for slowly.) He nodded in agreement.  I drove despacio through the second light.
I heard "No. Condominium." 
Oh, you live in the condominiums??!
 "Si!" he nodded with a smile. I turned left into the complex. 
"NO!" I heard from the backseat. "C.o.n.d.o.m.i.n.i.u.m.s" and gestured that I should turn around.  Wrong complex. I backed into the highway as he looked warily into oncoming traffic.  
"Rapido! Rapido!" I screamed. 
We laughed. Luckily, no one died. 
  Another right turn, lots more arm-waving and two dead stops in the middle of the road only to hear Yours Truly brilliantly slaughter Spanish with a nice man who probably wished by now that he'd just hit me with his cane.  I finally understood that he lived across from the condominiums in a cute little white house with a lovely wooden porch. We had driven a couple of miles by now. I pulled in and he got out.  He looked happy (and relieved) to be home. It would have taken him another hour walking with that cane.  Smiling from the backseat "Gracias! Gracias!"
"God bless you, Sir. Mucho blessings. Adios!"

And I thought that was the end of it really. Just a short little ride and he's gone. Right? 
No. (Did you know that "no" is the same in Spanish and English?)
The car door slammed and I waited for him to shuffle out of the way. Why don't I do this more often? It took 15 minutes out of my day. Why don't I? What a wonderful feeling. What is wrong with me? This is the most awesome day ever!! 

 Then I heard a knock knock on the passenger window. He was waving with his cane-free hand in a kind of salute-wave from the forehead, almost military-style and nodding vigorously.  "Muuuuchas Muuuchas gracias. Mucho mucho mucho gracias!"

 And because this was a muse-inspired moment I did what any proper pencil skirt would do; I blew an air kiss (universal languages I know). It wasn't about the muchos muchos so much as the look I saw in his beautiful dark-brown eyes. I didn't need a dictionary for that.  
That I understood. 
 
And that is the look we all know. Deep down in the waters of our souls, we know it.  There is no barrier strong enough to unravel connections that happen in the most ordained of haphazard days. They aren't haphazard at all. 
 I want more of those days...when I am in the driver's seat. Making conscious decisions to go out of my way for the important things. Stopping for him was the most important thing I did all day. Imagine how much richer my life would be if I multiplied that fifteen minute detour even three times a day? I have to remind myself to be open and aware. To stop the car, get out, and open the door. Grace will fly right in the backseat and take up residence with a cane if you just remember to des.pa.ci.o instead of rapido. It is something my grandfather would have done. It was the way he lived his life. 
Come to the river, said the muse...
 

I drove through my town and looked around. Really looked around. Pockets of poverty everywhere. Houses about to fall down. I have never seen my town the way my eyes saw it today. 

 But I was not about to argue with the muse. I went on down to the river because the muse said go.  

 "Peace is not a final destination. Peace is the road too," whispered the muse.



But sometimes we face situations when our words matter so deeply to the people we love that they can even mean the difference between life and death. Rewind.
One night not long ago, a young man asked me a question, "I don't know what to do anymore. I feel like giving up."

We sat outside on a crisp fall night. The moon was shining and the stars twinkled above us.  Around the tenth perpetual disappointment in his life, he was ready to give in. So he looked to me on this night.  I felt woefully inadequate when he said, "Tell me. What should I do?"
 He needed an answer. I needed one too.
Come to the river said the muse. There's something about that water....
The longest twenty seconds ticked by as he peered into my eyes awaiting my response. On the inside of me I tried to conjure the right answer, praying for help myself, because this answer had to be right. Although I knew his decisions had to be his and his alone, this answer had to be right.
And so I said the lamest thing.
"You just have to wake up again tomorrow morning and put one foot in front of the other." (really, Mimi? That's all you've got?) You have to remember that each morning the slate is clean. You get up and try again. Even if the way is dark and you don't know where you're going. You keep doing that. Just walk."
I went home and cried for him. My heart was full of fear. I needed to know that my words mattered. 


Later that same night I got a strange text from a number I didn't recognize. It said, "I need to thank you for something you did for me many years ago that has now come full circle in my life. Can I call you?"
Before I could type 'Who is this?'...I read  "Oh! This is your brother! LOL"

The last time I really talked to my little brother was at my dad's funeral five years ago. It was not what I would call a good conversation. I dialed.
"Hi Sis! It's so good to hear your voice. I've been thinking a lot about you lately and I want to tell you some things."
And then he went into how his life had settled down, how he'd found his spiritual center, become a Christian, and was finding meaning and purpose in a small country church where he lived and wanted to tell me that his baptism would be next week.  
"I finally know what it means to have a relationship with God," he said. "I am so happy. I've never felt so peaceful before."  
  Did I mention that he bears Papa's middle name?
Papa's hymnal


 "About twenty-five years ago you gave me a Bible. Do you remember?"
"Mmmaybe....kind of....well, I suppose I did, yes."

"How could you forget? You put stickie notes all in it! You gave me a brand new Bible full of stickie notes, Sis."  
"Ohhh...." (yep. That sounds like me)

 "The preacher started talking about the book of Acts and directed us to read a certain verse. I felt a chill because I'd read it before. It was one of your stickie note verses. I just want to thank you and tell you how much I love you."
"Ohhh...." (see how lame my responses are lately, my Bloggy People?)

And then I remembered how much I needed peace myself on this night. How I needed to know things would be alright. That full-circle moments are sent by the hand of God. That what I'd just told that young man under the stars was the truth and not lame at all.

 That somehow words you forgot you wrote make their way into the hands that need them. And back to your own.

Sometimes grace stops on the side of the road in a split-second. 
Sometimes it waits twenty-five years.


Words you see...words in the hands of love. He held my words for twenty-five years. Those words came back to me in the very moment I needed them most.  Words.
So, you see...words are powerful. Our words. My words. Your words. Words. Connections are made with words. Through broken English and rolled-up car windows. Hearts are healed with words. Hearts can be broken and hurt with words. Hearts are again healed with words.
 Measure them with the yardstick of love.
If it takes baptism in your Holy of Holies, then baptize yourself in whatever water you choose. But don't expect to rise up out of the dirty water you left without a care in the world.
 Care. 

Even if you can't see the way. Just walk.
  There is always someone there to guide you.


 Know what love would say. 
Then go do what love would do.



 Si?

  come to the river said the muse....


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41 comments:

Paula Kaye said...

Everything here is beautiful. Tears are running down my cheeks. Thank you so much for all the peace you have helped to create in this world tonight.

Dana Price said...

This peaceful writing is so soothing...Yes, I too have tears speaking for what is in my heart...May our world know more Peace everyday....That is my prayer. Thank you for this tonight.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Your river of stories is so inspiring. i have taken the time to read your post twice... The physical river never seemed to be the destination at all. It was the journey that mattered, and the new events and thoughts unveiled along the way. So lovely.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Thank-you Mimi! Sending you peace, love and purrs.

Juliana RW said...

Beautiful post, Mimi. Sending my peace from the Netherlands :D

Lui said...

I love your peace story this year, Mimi. I tried to upload my studio blog and Sweepy but I am not sure if I was able to. I finished all our peace globes today and I'm exhausted. I can sleep peacefully now :-)

Have a peaceful week!

Sue Demeter-St Clair said...

Beautiful, powerful words. Peace be with us. Thank you :)

Kathy said...

Thank you Mimi, for this and for everything you write.

Akelamalu said...

Beautiful Mimi and thankyou for making it possible for us to show our solidarity for peace. Xx

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

The voice of the Muse. The words. The gesture. Manifestations of Peace.

Dona Nobis Pacem.

Travis Cody said...

Now that's another keeper. Papa is smiling.

Janice said...

Mindfulness: Making conscious decisions.

Mindfulness: "peace is the road too".

Beautiful post. Do we perpetuate fear by our inactions, or do we feel the joy - and yes relief - by our mindful choosing.

speedyrabbit said...

Beautiful Post Mimi,may this dream come true one day,xx Rachel and Speedy

Dawn Drover said...

Just beautiful mon ami... as usual!

Mimi Lenox said...

Paula Kaye - Your peace globe inspired me so much. And the way you live your life is an inspiration to all. Peace be your journey as well.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dana - We need some soothing in this ragged world of ours. Thank you for being here and promoting peace.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gemma - I fought with the Muse over the compilation of all these stories into one. You said it perfectly for me. It IS a 'river of stories'...Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to be a voice for peace in the world. I look forward each year to your unique presence in the blogosphere on peace day.
Shalom

Mimi Lenox said...

Layla - Peace! Your peace globe is bright and energetic. There are little peace sparkles all over it. I smile when I look at it.
Thank you for being here.

Mimi Lenox said...

Juliana - I saw your peace globe and the video attached to it last night and shared it far and wide. It made me cry in a good way! Thank you for taking the time to make your peace post so very special...all the way from the Netherlands.

Dona nobis pacem to you and yours.

Mimi Lenox said...

Lui - It will not be the same without you and Sweepy. I will go look at your work and pray the technical issues are solved.
I hope you slept well.

I went to bed at 3am. I am on my 3rd cup of coffee. Oh my...

Mimi Lenox said...

Sue - Peace to you and thank you for being here. You are veteran peace blogger from Canada. I appreciate you and the special way you bring peace to the blogosphere each year.

I will visit you soon.

Mimi Lenox said...

Kathy - Don't you love peace day? It brings us all back together in such a beautiful way.
I appreciate you. I know you've had a hard year. You lost your Dad just a short while ago, and yet on that day you managed to post about peace too, letting us all see a glimpse of him in your writing. I will never forget that.

Thank you for being here with us today. Peace always.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dear Akelamalu (Little Hawaiian Girl to me) - You are a steady rock in this movement and I love and appreciate you.
Peace to you and Himself. The two of you make me smile with your stories and adventures everyday.

xxoo

Mimi Lenox said...

Dear Akelamalu (Little Hawaiian Girl to me) - You are a steady rock in this movement and I love and appreciate you.
Peace to you and Himself. The two of you make me smile with your stories and adventures everyday.

xxoo

Mimi Lenox said...

Rose - Yes, you are so intune with nature and all the signs around you. I know you get this totally.

Thank you for being a force for peace everyday of your life.

Mimi Lenox said...

Trav - Today is his 100th birthday. I am sure he is here with me and reading over my shoulder.

Peace to you and Pam.
It is always a good day in the blogosphere when you two are here with us.
Your peace posts this week have been incredible stories of family and love!

Mimi Lenox said...

Janice - Mindfulness is a daily struggle because we're torn in so many directions. I'm trying to despaciO!

What did the Mindful Palate cook up today for peace day? I'm going to go over there soon. I'm hungry.

Mimi Lenox said...

Speedy Rabbit - I love that you are blogging for peace today. All God's creatures are in the loop. You are a special one! Thank you for being here as always!

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - Thank you so much for all you do for peace bloggers on peace day. I know how hard you've worked in the past few days making peace globes. It has not gone unnoticed.

Love to you from Bloggingham

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE "Know what love would say. Then go do what love would do." Beautiful, Mimi.

Susie of Arabia said...

Mimi - You are a master story teller. I am so proud to be a part of Blog4Peace. Thank you for the inspiration.

Jans Funny Farm said...

Your story of how words matter hit home. Thanks for the uplifting post.

meowmeowmans said...

Thank you, Mimi, for your powerful and inspiring words. Peace to you, today and always.

Simone Coetser said...

Excellent

angelswhisper2011 said...

Granny and I are here for the first time and we definetely found peace here. Thank you for hosting such a beautiful and impawtant message. Peaceful Pawkisses, Little Binky and Granny :) <3

Jenna,Mark Drady said...

This is wonderful! I would love to take part, how long is this linky up for?
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

Mimi Lenox said...

The linky will be up all week. It's never too late to blog for peace!

Jenna,Mark Drady said...

Great to know! Thanks!!

Clooney said...

Such a beautiful post Mimi, thank you for sharing this story, I love the words you wrote here, so powerful and true: "connections are made with words, hearts are healed with words." Peace to you, Dona Nobis Pacem.

Frank Sirianni said...

Hi Mimi, I'm a little late for this years Blogblast, but I think you'll approve my tardiness :)

Annelisa said...

Ah, my friend Mimi

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. On November 4th I left a message three times, and I come back, and still it hasn't stayed. Trying one last time.

I just wanted to wish you a beautiful BlogBlast4Peace! There have been so many wonderful posts, and so many wonderful Peaceglobes, and every year I feel we are a little closer to spreading the word and joining together to make our wish come true.

Your post, as always, moved me. It's those little things we do for people that make all the difference!

I hope you are enjoying collecting peace from all over the globe as I'm still doing! :-)

Peace to you and yours (((hug)))

Annelisa

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