Guest post today –
Back in the mid-late 1970’s I shared a house in Houston with a man called George O’Malley. George was the second-best roommate I ever had; I moved out only to get married, and nobody disputes the honest fact that George was the Best Man at that wedding.
Paul Simon wrote a song I like that goes “Some folks’ lives roll easy…” That hasn’t always been George. But in the midst of the tosses and turns of this life, George has maintained the central goodness of his heart. Today he posted something that I thought not only showed something of George, but also pointed for the rest of us the way forward. I argue theology. George simply does it. His is the more excellent way.
(in bringing this here, I asked George for his permission. As it is his work, I have no right to extend any permission so all rights are reserved. If you would like to use it, let me know, and I’ll hook you up)
My girlfriend used to want to save the world like we were taught back in the 60’s, I just did the one thing I could. We had a terribly poor almost homeless family move in next door when I felt God had healed my depression for a while. I fed the children when I could and saw that the five year old girl had a crush on me because she’d never had any male attention. I couldn’t do anything about them being so poor, but I remember singing songs for them and needing a guitar pick, five year old Rosa brought me a handful of picks she found around the house; I could see that she was fiercely intelligent and it broke my heart that no one had seen that before. I decided that if she could read at the start of first grade she would stand out and get attention for being so smart; I wanted her to have an attitude. I bought exercise books at the drugstore and she learned to read quite easily; the first time she “read’ to me it was recited but confidence is what counted, she quickly actually read the book to me and others which I bought her. I wanted her to walk into first grade proud of her intelligence and receive attention because of it, she and her older sister turned out to be wonderful students.
The mother married a kind man who took care of the kids and things are much better now, I’ve been too much of a wreck to do anything for them for years but my girlfriend brings them from Houston to Austin on days like today and they still think I’m wonderful, just because I was the first person to do one little thing for them. The mother was insane having six kids when she couldn’t take care of even one but must have done something right because these are the sweetest and best behaved children in the world.
It was easy being good with them, I just recalled my awful childhood and did the opposite; building confidence in them. I’m too depressed to be responsible for a child but seem to be good with them when I’m capable.
Just doing one thing for one child can make a difference.