If today's any indication, 2006 is going to be an interesting year of contrasts. Here are just two quick samples of many different kinds of situations I encountered on January 1st:
16-going-on-17-year-old A. gave a talk in our sacrament meeting today that was great. While she spoke I was marvelling at her and realized that she is my first flesh-and-blood “teacher” of the year (that’s not counting Rob, of course). There was something wonderful in that thought, and in knowing that I’ve invested in A. and had at least a small hand in contributing to her development from the time she was 12, and now here she is, still a teenager, really teaching and edifying me. It felt very satisfying, in a proud mama sort of way, and not challenging at all. I’ve known some people who’ve expressed real difficulty with trying to let the younger and the so-called less-experienced be the ones whose mouths are filled with wisdom and leadership; those are the unfortunate people who keep themselves from listening and appreciating and learning, because of pride. Blah, well, I thought A. was terrific.
My friend, F., left her husband, C., today. He’s been increasingly abusive since they left Georgia, and lately she’s begun to fear for her life (and for good reason), it’s that bad. Today, in answer to my hopes and prayers and probably others’ too, she talked with her local church leader who was highly supportive of her, and together they made the first part of an emergency plan to get her out of their apartment and to get him help. When C. went down for an afternoon nap, F. slipped out, taking not a scrap with her, and a friend drove her to a safe shelter for women and children. I talked with F. twice tonight and I’ll be seeing her tomorrow. Bless her heart, this is frightening; C.’s a wild man, mentally, and I believe he is dangerous. I’m certainly planning to watch my back. F.’s priesthood leader is going to take the legal steps to have C. admitted to the psychiatric ward at the local hospital and hopefully get him some real help before he kills himself or somebody else. I hope it works; C. does not seem to want help. This is my time to not count the cost of spending extra hours investing in my friendship with F.