Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
William Butler Yeats (The Wind Among the Reeds 1899)
Even though the cooler weather we are beginning to experience tends to remove a few things from her to-do list—like mowing the grass with the lawn tractor—my bride Lynda still seems to have a list of things to-do longer than she could realistically ever get to. But here’s the amazing thing—it doesn’t seem to bother her.
And not only does that mountain of things to deal with not seem to bother her, but eventually she manages to check off all the items even as others are consistently added. And here’s something else—and this is the important part—family and friends always come before her to-do list—always. No matter the demands of the day—they are an overriding priority.
It has taken me a while to learn that lesson from her, for my own life, but I have and am getting better every day.
And now in the past few weeks, much of her spare time (after the daily “to-do list”) ordinarily spent resting, reading or doing beautiful handwork (needlepoint, crocheting, knitting) of blankets, quilts, Christmas stockings and other items for her Granddaughters and family, is being spent scanning old and new pictures (on her new scanner) from years of memories contained in our picture albums onto the hard drive while reminiscing over each one, calling me often to see this picture or that, and share a moment from our past again with her.
A recent spate of pictures she scanned was of Nathan when he was two to four years old with many of them of him and me playing and doing various things and projects together. As I looked at them—and in particular his angelic, happy, wondering and expectant smile radiating through the midst of whatever we were doing together—I couldn’t help but wonder what I (and Lynda, too) had dreamed of back then for our son and for his future.
I don’t recall dreaming that he should be a professional baseball or football player, famous or worldly and well-known. I was pretty sure I didn’t dream that he would be a New York Times best-selling author (although we did encourage him to write regularly), or would work in the NFL. I’m sure I dreamed of a number of things for his life—things he might do one day.
But as I looked at picture after picture, I clearly remember that in those years and all the years since, the dream his Mother and I quietly held in our hearts for him was that he would always be safe and healthy and happy. I do remember that we realized that no matter what was going on in our lives—if Nathan was safe, good, and healthy and happy—our lives were good. Those same feelings now fill our lives and cover our daughter-in-law, Amy, and two Granddaughters as well.
As I have been looking through all the pictures with Lynda of so long ago, I realized that our dreams for Nathan were always wrapped within his dreams for himself, as he grew and expressed them in his own wonderfully innocent way. Picture after picture Lynda found to scan reminded us of that. Our dreams were a safety-net, undergirding his dreams and were woven of our love and responsibility for him, understanding how fragile his dreams (and all dreams in general) were as they took root in the words and thoughts of such a fragile and impressionable gift of God.
As we looked through picture-after-picture and reminisced through softly flowing tears, we realized that our dreams for Nathan, and now for the rest of our family, in addition to good health, safety and happiness, were always about seeing his and their dreams take flight. Our dreams for them take shape in the enabling of theirs, and in always being aware of how easy it would have been to dampen or trample on those dreams as too many people do to so many of the young and impressionable “children of all ages” around us.
And we dreamed that they too, one day, would come into a relationship with Christ assuring them of an eternal relationship with the God who created them. A dream which, thankfully and gratefully, has been fulfilled in their lives.
What dreams to you hold for those you hold dear?
Tread lightly on their dreams.
Embrace, undergird and give wings to their dreams.
It’s a high and rare privilege and responsibility—and never-ending opportunity and eternal blessing for you—and for them.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2010. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.