What are the cumulative results of your life’s efforts, and are you still knockin’?
In the last several years, I’ve decided that various forms of measurement, while superior in their science, cannot measure the results of the spirit.
Sometimes I think of humans as earth scuba divers, and that from our vantage point, all we can see is the ocean floor, the shimmering hints of life surrounding us, and hope from the light shining above.
Often, we’re led to believe we will one day be able to breathe without darkness and that the depth of emotion that serves to weigh us down, does so only to confirm how grounded in belief we’ve chosen to be. We swim in wait, finding unimagined beauty, all while touching the lives of many we may have once believed foreign.
Our purpose, should we glean to understand it, is still higher than our understanding.
I’ve told the story of my friend Terry many times, and because I was a child when I knew him, my account is occasionally altered with a changing understanding. My memory holds tight to life’s wondrous moments, as a way to encourage releasing the others.
He was a friend of my mother’s, a drug addict and illiterate adult. I was less than seven, and when he saw me reading one day, he asked me to teach him too. In my childish way, I happily honored his request.
He is distinct in my mind’s album because he was an adult yet had managed to maintain his youth while unabashedly displaying meekness. As a child, all men terrified me, and he stands out as a man in my childhood I was unafraid to be near.
We’d gone on for a while, until one day he wanted me to see that he’d learned a bit of what I’d ‘taught’. He read out loud from the book I’d been reading, and I remember how excited I was, that the use of my time could bring him a smile of joy.
On the evening of the day he’d first read out loud to me, he died in a motorcycle accident.
Now that I’m older and understand addiction in a way I didn’t before, it is clear to me he was hurting in countless ways. An addict often carries only blood-colored currency in their wallet and tends to believe that much of their spending will never lead them to know the feel of a crisp green dollar bill.
Naturally, we are consumers and spend what is available to us to spend. Rather, we spend what we believe is available to us to spend.
He believed he had a need, and I believed I had time.
Terry taught me the story of the world. Since he is dead and has spent all the currency available to him, he could not know the impact of his nature originated from the crisp green currency of his heart.
So I don’t believe the answer to the question can ever be made without the prejudicial aspects of what we believe exists in our wallets and pocket bags. The results of our life efforts are not for us to measure.
All we must do is effort, because we can never know when our final one presents itself as a knock of opportunity. Nor can we know how much louder that same effort might echo in the heart of another, and lead them to open doors they’d never before contemplated.
Terry could never know he introduced me to the grief inherent when one carries an absence of language or the joy in its discovery.
It was actually me that had a need, and it was him that believed he had time.
The revelation of our light is of value beyond our comprehension and measurement. Our blood is what nurtures hope, beyond our own.
So spend. Spend it all without looking back, or with the idea that there is carnage in your past or present.
Blood-filled seeds yield the greatest spiritual harvests.