“Hello, ma’am.” He smiled broadly and waved.
I was walking Polly. I smiled back, though not quite as widely. “Hi, how are you?”
“I’m super fantastic. How are you?”
When the pandemic began, I reluctantly quit volunteering at the JCCM food pantry. One of the regular clients was Jeffrey. I have written about him in this space before. Homeless, few possessions—what he can carry in a backpack—always smiling, yes, always, and with a pep in his step.
“I’m super fantastic too, thank you.”
“You have a great day, ma’am.”
How could I not respond that I am super fantastic?
I have a roof over my head. I live in comfortable surroundings. I have a closet and dresser full of clothes, shoes, hats, and coats. My refrigerator and kitchen cupboards are full as is my stomach. I have a book shelf full of books to read and electronics to utilize. I drive a bad-ass truck with a tank full of gas that takes me wherever I want and need to go. I have friends and family who ‘get me’ and love me. I have a loving, sweet, gentle dog. I am retired and I have my health.
How could I not be super fantastic? I have so much more than Jeffrey.
Or do I?
If I didn’t have all of the above, would I genuinely and sincerely be able to say I’m super fantastic?
I don’t think it’s about comparing how much stuff either of us have anyway. It’s about knowing Who you are and to Whom you belong and Jeffrey is all in, 100% positive, without any doubt whatsoever sure of Who he is and to Whom he belongs.
My oldest son sent me a birthday card in which he wrote:
Has your latest year of birth been mostly happy? Well, whether or not, I hope you are well. Love, C.
Between isolating (due to the pandemic); enduring the insufferable Mr. Trump; mourning COVID deaths, gun violence, and civil rights injustices; and divorcing, year 62 was challenging. But what year of life for anyone isn’t challenging?
I answered my son, that yes, I am happy. Upon further reflection of my son’s use of the word ‘well,’ I’d say I am well–it is well with my soul. (Horatio Spafford)
Like Paul, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11). Of all people, Paul knew what it was to suffer—wrongfully imprisoned multiple times, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, abandoned, whipped—still he did not lose heart.
Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
In other words:
All this love we are reaching to be one with begins with seeing the beauty of our own selves… Without any need to be perfect… The way God loves us… In each rising discovery that we are beautiful in the way God knows beauty the world we have all made up together becomes more beautiful… And so Creation extends, through consciousness, by transforming all that we made up, into Light… J.F.
I’m super fantastic!
And so are you!