SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 323: “I’m A Hugger”

For the next week, I am clueless as to the length, or depth, of the entries I will be writing. And for the sake of explanation, just think of me a Mr. Mom. As for the next five days I have positioned myself for a role reversal of responsibilities at the office.

You see, my wife is a very talented designer, and due to the iPad and the new HTML 5 protocol, it is time for us to update our assignment website. So, for me to sit in the office with my eyes over her shoulders would only prove to be a possible demise of our relationship, or at least the beginning of the journey to the guest bedroom for a month or two.

But really, the blessings are all mine, and I get the win/win. It’s not often that I get to dedicate the majority of my time to stepping out of the office, and I’ll, admit that although I love what I do, I am allowing myself to check out as much as I can. And even better yet, I get to come back to work with a great advancement in the positioning of my business. Got to love the tenacity of our better half.

With that said, my entries may be brief for a few days, or maybe not, but whatever they are, I’ll do my best to give you what I can. Plus, there are probably many who know me that might say, “Thanks for using fewer words” (We’ll see if I can?).

It’s day one of role reversal… we go bowling… and meet Steve, his wife Laureen and their grandchildren who are in lane 29, directly adjacent to our spot in lane 30.

Steve is throwing strike after strike. And in neighborly fashion, I begin complimenting him on his game. One word leads to another, and before I know it, my bowling family has vicariously grown larger than only my daughter and I. Never underestimate the power of a simple smile of appreciation.

We all finish our games, the pins have stopped flying and with a pause of bowling ball retrieving settling into our seating arrangement, I decide to extend a 365 invite to my new strangers now friends.

Without a second thought, Steve and Laureen are open to discussion. But with family commitments beyond the bowling alley time they have schedules, we agree to keep it to five minutes… I start my recorder, take a few snaps shots and this is what they have to say.

“We are Bible believing Christians. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and fear, being respectful for God. To expand on that a little bit, the world has the wrong stereotype of Christianity… They look at it as hypocritical and judgmental. But real biblical Christianity is about loving one another, and considering others more important than yourself. It’s really caring about other people.”

As customary, I ask Steve his predictions of the world ahead of us.

“It’s hard to put a timeframe on it…” He positions, “… and these supposed Christians that make prophetic statements and set time frames? None of us really know a timetable. The real difficulty is that the world is going more towards an absence of standards on what is right and wrong… and against standards of morality. Ultimately, God is going to redeem a fallen world. How many years…? It’s hard to say…

… There is lot of revival in other countries… And there are a lot of people coming to a belief in Christ. And with that, the world is kind of polarizing… its kind of leaning in the other direction.”

Laureen adds to Steve’s shared hope and faith for the calming of a turbulent world, “Prioritize god…” she smiles an enchanting warmth, “… know of his truth… and then share that truth with others… that is what will change the world. It’s really his timeframe, not ours. We are just called to be faithful in our day.”

“The bottom line is living it… not just preaching it…” Steve resumes, “Taking care of people and living in the moment. It’s not ours to judge. That’s God’s prerogative… that’s his authority. We just have to love people.”

And loving people is exactly what Steve and Laureen model in their lives. I know it to my core… As evident in their very countenance and kindness they so easily place upon my kid and myself.

Our five minutes are up, it’s time to return to our individual lives, but as a last gesture of accepting love Laureen reaches out to my daughter and me with outstretched arms, “I’m a hugger,” She says.

Our hearts are touched by the gesture.