Some things have to be believed to be seen.
~ Madeleine L’Engle
Madeleine’s advice is worthwhile. “It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen, we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast, for we are called upon to believe, what to many people, is impossible. Instead of rejoicing in this glorious ‘impossible’ which gives meaning and dignity to our lives, we try to domesticate God, to make his might actions comprehensible to our finite minds."
When I was growing up my parents took a strange child into our home, a boy with round blue eyes of wonder and blond curls soft as lily petals. One whose vocabulary did not contain the word ‘impossible.’
First of all, he’d flown 3,000 miles all by himself from Riverside California to Fremont North Carolina. Had left the city and brown smog to come live with us on a farm with tall stalks of corn, green pastures stretching toward the horizon, pigs you can pet, wild huckleberries for the grabbing, haystacks to rest upon and, best of all, a red tractor.
And what boy doesn’t dream of riding a big red tractor every day with his “Grandpa.” That was his first dream come true, living on Green Acres. Imagine that reality coming to life for a child.
When he turned five my parents enrolled him in school. That’s when we discovered that he had a little shadow that went in and out with him. We saw tell-tale signs of a hard-knock life from days gone by. Bed wetting became the norm.
One day the principal called my mother in for a conference. “The boy seems to have emotional problems,” he said. “He has a foul mouth.” News to us.
After delving into the matter at home my parents soon discovered abandonment issues. We learned that his mother had left him in the dark car while she worked in an after-hours nightclub (shade city). Of course he was emotionally disturbed…all those endless evenings left alone. And if someone tried to steal him, well…
Then one day his mother showed up at our home to cart Simeon away. I’ll never forget that scene. The boy clinging to my dad for dear life, sobbing his eyes out. Both my parents weeping, loud wails filling the kitchen. Sim’s mom dragging him away by force, the child who’d lived with us for the past couple of years.
Months passed. Then one day the mail man, Buck, delivered a letter scribbled in orange pencil – clearly a child’s handwriting – addressed to:
That’s it. No first name, no rural route, no zip code, no return address, just, “Grandpa, Fremont, NC.” We sat and wondered how a letter from one side of the country clear to the other could have possibly been delivered without the pertinent information. Miracle? I’d like to think so.
Ever since then, I’ve taken Madeleine L’Engle’s advice to heart in naming six impossible things before my feel hit the hardwood floor every day. If you haven’t done so, try it. Impossible dreams don’t just have to be personal. I dream on behalf of others as well as myself.
What impossible dreams might you have? Be bold!