Tell Me Something Good

Tell me something good.
Tell me something beautiful about the world like the way the beach looks in the morning. Know what I mean?
Tell me what the beach looks like, just about the time when the sun is coming up and all you can hear are the seagulls in the wind and the waves that hit the sands. There’s no one around and there’s nothing to disturb the moment.

Tell me something that comes without anger or hate. Tell me something that would appeal to the ears of anyone who is tired of the norm.
Tell me something about anything other than violence or the crime rate in the City. Please, tell me. I really want to hear it.

Tell me something about the lights in the City when crossing over the George Washington Bridge at nighttime. Or tell me about how the buildings and the skyscrapers and their lights from either side of the river reflect along the Hudson.
Tell me about the warmth in winter and how there’s genius in a good bowl of soup.

I ask you this because I want to set the stage for this morning. I want to see something (or anything) other than the news that tells us about the daily grievances.
I want to see things that can restore peace, like a church before its congregation shows up.
Do you know what I mean? It’s quiet and peaceful and there’s no one in the place but you and a moment with God (if that’s your thing).
I do like this idea.
I like thinking about the neighborhood which takes on an innocent charm as if today was more than a holy day or a day of rest – no, this is more.
Show me a picture of the togetherness or the comforts of a good community breakfast. Let me hear about the plates and trays of eggs and pancakes, syrup, bacon, ham, oatmeal and some pieces of French toast. 

I went to one of these.
It was a long time ago in a life that seemed as if it belonged to someone else.
We were there to help with a church function.
When I say “we” I mean we; as in the people who lived on a farm. When I say “we” I mean us, the so-called troubled people, the mentally ill, the angry, the refused, the beaten, the criminal, the junkies and drunks and the forgotten aspects of a story that made the local newspapers and brought shame –
I say this as it relates to me, to which at this point, the story was old news and to me; I was living in a strange sense and I was away from everything and everyone I knew.
I was alive and well and placed on a shelf or suspended in a legal representation of hibernation. I was away and the world kept going. I remember that.

At a time when I believed that, at best, this was the best I could be, we were brought in to offer service and charity to a church in a small, upstate town.
The town was a place that I had never heard of. To be clear, I don’t remember what we did as far as the service goes or if I did anything special per se. But this is not the important part of my memory.

What I remember was people who I had never met before, who I would have never known, and regardless to where I was at the time and regardless of the group I was with (and why) what I remember most was the love that I was given. I remember the kindness I was shown. And if you don’t know then my guess is perhaps you’ll never know what it’s like to be treated like a human when all else treated you like a stain or a toxin.
The people in the congregation didn’t see me as a “Junkie” or anything like that, I wasn’t the town tragedy nor was I anything other than a real person who gathered with the rest of the town. I was someone who helped, organized, prepared and participated. 

I recall wondering if life could be this way – peaceful and without controversy or the constant arguing. Do people like this really exist? Kind as ever, caring, friendly and welcoming – is this a real thing, or was this all pretend?
See, I think this was real. I didn’t think they were treating me like a “special-needs” kid or a charity case.
This was wholesome and wholeheartedly, I was happy to be part of this, to be welcomed and to be treated like a regular person.
It was nice. (You know?)

I was given more food than I could have asked for. I was full. I was happy and all the while, I heard people saying things like, “Peace be with you . . . and also with you.”

I never saw anything like this before and I never felt like this either. I wasn’t a mark of shame. There was no stigma. There was just more food on my plate with people who smiled at me with genuine smiles.
Can you believe this? Real smiles. No judgment. No opinions or political debates. Just friendly people who kept filling my plate with food and a genuine feeling of love; as if I was part of a community who welcomed me like family.

I do not have too many stories like this. No, it is not the norm to welcome people in and treat them like humans.
It is often to see us challenge one another or hold blame against each other. It’s more frequent that we see problems and politics than friendship and unity.

But for now . . .
I want to see something good. I want to forget about the hate or the fights and all the bickering arguments.
And dig it, I get that nothing can be fixed with a good batch of pancakes. But maybe something can be fixed if we try a gesture of hope instead of looking for someone to blame or fighting about everything.

Tell me something good.
Tell me something that puts peace in your heart.
Tell me something that makes you smile and rids your mind of all the angst and the arguments.

Tell me about your favorite place to eat when you were a kid.
Tell me about your memories of say, eating at a Denny’s for the first time.
Mine was by 100 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach . . .
Tell me about the best time you ever had in the snow – or what about the best day you ever had, where was this?
Tell me about the first time you saw the snappers run in the canals by the bay.
Tell me about this.
Tell me if you remember being a kid in grade school and then all of a sudden you noticed the snow started to fall and all the kids in the class ran over to the window to say the common “ahhs” and “ooohs” because the huge snowflakes were the coolest thing you ever saw.

Tell me about a moment of forgiveness when all the past was wiped clean and two people were reconciled and the losses of the past were left behind them – and forgotten.

Tell me something good.
I want to set the stage.
Tell me so that today can be a vision of hope and that perhaps, somehow, you and I can be at peace.
Maybe later, I can take a walk in the cool November breeze and feel the wealth of something genuine. 

It is Sunday and the hour of the sun has reached above the evergreens on my side of the mountains. The sunlight is twinkling through the final remnants of the leaves in the trees.
There’s a gentle breeze which is moving the branches, just slightly. 

It’s beautiful out.
In spite of it all, the world is a beautiful place.

I know it is.

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