A PLACE TO GROW

Today’s Prayer to Passage will be from the book ‘The Gift of an Ordinary Day’ by Katrina Kennison.

Today I pray, “Dear God, What are we to know on the eve we celebrate the birth of Your Child? Amen.”

Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to this passage:

“He stands sometimes lost in thought with wrists crossed, palms twisted toward each other, dreaming melodies.
He sleeps deeply as if hurled onto the bed from a high place. Head thrown back, mouth open, arms and legs bent at odd angles. Feet in the air.

But in the morning, he’s the first one up, taking the pulse of the day. After his shower the hair on his head sweeps forward as if he’s just blown in on the wind. His eyes are green, then gray. Changeable as the sky. He hunches over the sports page at breakfast, devouring every scrap of baseball news along with his rice chex. Laughing out loud at the funny parts, which may of course be funny only to him.

Before a single word is spoken he can sense the mood in a room. He embodies a silence that is quieter, deeper than not talking. He needs fewer words than most, but more music. His fingers carry memories of sonatas, jazz riffs, Broadway melodies. He wears his shirt unbuttoned over a faded tee. His pants, baggy. His shoes often half tied. When he walks out the door he always calls ‘Goodbye.’ And coming home, he asks first, ‘How was your day?’

If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, he empties it. And evenings he sits at the piano, and from some unknowable place within brings forth his own heartbreaking improvisation on the old Nat King Cole tune, ‘Blame It On My Youth’. In the hallway, I pause, a basket of laundry in my hands, surprised by a sudden lump in my throat as the house fills with sound.

As an eighth grader, this boy who never asked for much asked for just one thing. To go to high school in a place where he wouldn’t get lost in the crowd. It seemed to my husband and me a fair request. He was looking not for escape, but for a place to grow. A place where a shy, unusual kid — small for his age and all too easy to miss in a world of larger, louder personalities — might be seen and valued.”
—KATRINA KENNISON

May we welcome these new beings not as children in the sensibilities of children that turn them into form. May we transform our hearts and minds into achieving the very essence of which they are here: acceptance, brilliance, and honor.

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