Tonight, my son and I were reflecting on a funeral we attended yesterday. He was obsessed with a photo from the booklet. It was a picture of the deceased’s children.
“She was so much taller than her brother,” he said, awestruck.
My son was amazed because, as brother and sister shared Eulogy duties at the church’s podium thirty years later, he towered over her – by more than a foot.
I thought about his observation for a second, and then we talked about what we could learn from it.
It seems kind of silly to be so quick to give up on people – to pronounce judgments and write people off just because they aren’t where we’d like them to be. No-one is, at this very moment, who they’ll be a year from now. So, everyone deserves some time to finish growing. And they deserve to do that privately, to grow in their own space – on pages that aren’t printed in high resolution, illustrated in vivid colour and published daily for everyone else to see.
If we can just keep our words, our well-meaning, ugly, destructive words, out of their way, maybe people would have the silence they need to grow. Perhaps if we’d just close the picture book (and our mouths), we’d turn around one day and realize how much growing someone can do with a little time, silence and space.
And if we’re especially lucky, it won’t take a funeral to see it.