Dear Inner Circle,
A four-year-old girl stood next to her mother who had come to see me about a relatively trivial matter. The face of the little girl! Anger, fight, sadness and resentment all were clearly present in the face of this baby who clearly didn’t want to be in the room. I knew this little girl, somehow. My heart leapt from my chest at my first glance. This meeting happened many years ago and today, this little face is still with me. She didn’t speak and I’m not sure she could speak. She made noises. She seemed to be keeping her hands behind her back. “What’s going on with this little girl’s hands?” I asked. The mother pulled one of the hands to the front to reveal burns in the pattern of clear concentric circles. The little hand was dreadfully blistered. I could only imagine these burns came from a stove cooktop. I looked with horror to the mother’s face and she said, “She tells lies!”
I tell you that story because I’ve just been similarly captured by another face that will no doubt live with me to my dying day. Today I met a young person, perhaps in their late teens or early twenties and we struck up a conversation about gender identity. The words we exchanged were of peripheral importance to this meeting. Speaking was difficult, a stammering mixed with the sounds that a toothless mouth makes when forming words. But the face! Parallel lines met today. I know nothing of the backstory and yet I know everything. I lost something today. I lost all the things that I was worried about on my way to Wayside today. I lost my health issues; I lost the agenda of my next executive meeting; I lost the philosophy that I’d read last night, but I didn’t lose me. Actually, I found me in this precious face, contorted by hurt and yet with warmth and presence. My contribution to this meeting was nothing and everything. I gained nothing and everything.
Keep reading here.