Each Yes of mine
I added to a tower of others.
With a deceptively sturdy base it
was so easy to add another yes-can.
It began with a foundation
I could build upon.
It was so simple to add one more
seemingly small, aluminum weight yes.
Yes, I can do that. Yes, I will call.
Yes, I will help. Yes, I can listen.
Yes, I will be there, do that, jump that hoop,
ride that rail, hoist that sail, drive that car.
And one more.
But it got hard to reach the top of the pile.
The stack grew higher
and harder to balance.
And then one inevitable day
a final yes toppled into another.
And suddenly with a rush and roar
The cans of yeses tumbled down.
A waterfall of crashing cans
falling in a metallic scream
that finally echoed into silence.
I heard the calling of the sparrow,
and the singing of the crickets,
the soft brush of an angel’s wing.
And sitting there in my pile of
I could hear God’s whisper,
His voice beckoning,
asking me to follow him.
I only needed to answer
with one single, solitary,
Sacred and holy,
Joyful and liberating,
In his book Return from Tomorrow, George Ritchie talks about meeting a man who'd been a prisoner in the concentration camp where Ritchie was sent as a soldier right at the end of WWII. He talks about the amazing compassion "Wild Bill" had for all his fellow prisoners and how he was regarded as a friend to all. Wild Bill even counseled others to forgive the Germans for the atrocities they'd been through, and said this:
"We lived in the Jewish section of Warsaw. My wife, our two daughters, and our three little boys. When the Germans reached our street they lined everyone up against a wall and opened up with machine guns. I begged to be allowed to die with my family, but because I spoke German they put me in a work group. I had to decide right then whether to let myself hate the soldiers who had done this. It was an easy decision really. I was a lawyer. In my practice I had seen too often what hate could do to people's minds and bodies. Hate had just killed the six people who mattered most to me in the world. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life - whether it was a few days or many years - loving every person I came in contact with."
Ritchie continues: "Loving every person...this was the power that had kept a man well in the face of every privation. It was the Power I had first met in a hospital room (during a Near Death Experience) in Texas, and was learning little by little to recognize wherever He chose to shine through - whether the human vehicle was aware of Him or not."
Here's to Love - to the will to love, to the choice of love, to our hearts opening wide and spilling out love during the moments of our lives. May the story of Wild Bill be another way God uses to point me to his Truth.