Dave Brisbin | 8.28.16
There are some days that are just hard. Hard to break through to meaning and purpose, hard to get up in the morning, hard to do what is required this day. On one such day, wondering if I could really do the day, with my car at the intersection where a right turn took me to work and the day’s activities, I sat and thought and then turned left toward a local wilderness park. Not knowing what I was really looking for, I found a bench with a plaque dedicated to a child, an infant, Gavin, who had died fourteen years before. The parents’ pain screamed through the engraved words until I looked up through bright green leaves lit by a perfect morning sun to the flawlessly blue sky beyond and asked no one in particular, “Why does it have to be this way?” 

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I asked for Gavin and his parents, but I was really asking for myself. This is life lived as a human. The juxtaposition of beauty and cruelty, joy and pain. How do we navigate between the two and keep our cars turning right toward the activities our daily lives? Jesus shows us we need to turn left regularly too, to sit on Gavin’s bench and just breathe and be for a while, feel the morning sun and remember why we’re here. I left Gavin’s bench feeling better, not because anything had changed in my life, but because a small reconnection with all that is changed me—for that day.

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