It has been “the best of times and the worst of times”.
It has brought many important life lessons to our world. Honesty, integrity, and trusting in God, however you may perceive that source, have been the prevailing theme of the past several months. Keeping one’s hand on the tiller is the other half of the same lesson.
Justice comes in its own form and in its own time.
During this arduous period we questioned just about everything. This included “Why did we do this?”
Why? Because, it is what was meant to be. That’s why.
During this time, I ended up watching “Doc Hollywood” several times. Okay, pure escapism. Then I realized that I watched it several times before we moved from the big City to the Wild West. Sometimes I get the message immediately. Sometimes it takes a while. This was one of the latter.
For the fifteen of you who have not seen this sweet movie (definitely a “date” movie, gentlemen) Michael J. Fox plays a hotshot doctor specializing in plastic surgery. He is heading to Beverly Hills still operating under the delusion that he will be doing this in order to also help cleft palates. If there were a cleft palate in Beverly Hills, it would make the headline of the National Enquirer. If Elvis had been that child’s illegitimate father, it would make the evening news.
On the way to the dream job, Michael’s character, Ben Stone, takes an accidental detour and ends up having to execute community service in exchange for inadvertent property damage. This not only endangers his shiny future; ruining his hot car; but, also, leaves him in a very small town. The town is filled with many people who have been there since Jesus was a small child. What’s more, they have been in the queue to see a “real” doctor for almost as long. The old and beloved curmudgeonly Doc is nearing retirement.
We intentionally left the big city, Chicago. That was almost a decade ago. I have come to broaden my horizons and perspective about people. Oh, there are the usual suspects in the character spectrum in this town. They bring a unique individuality and flavor to the mix. And there is a great deal of value in the amusing diversity and tolerance for “quirks”.
But by and large, you take care of your own and they’ll take care of theirs. In a pinch I can put money in the bank that they will be there to help out if there is an emergency. Otherwise, it’s laissez faire.
Due to the greed and desires of two or three people, we have been dealing with the fallout. However, I found myself beginning to drink the Kool Aid. What happened was because of the narrow vision and immoral behavior.
But I began, after swallowing the fruit drink, to believe that it was all-pervasive. And that is simply not true.
Then, one Friday night, during the weekly block party on Main Street, I bumped into a series of friends and acquaintances, each of which expressed their dismay and anger at the turn of events. They offered prayers and support. Each one gave me the universal message I needed.
“Don’t give up on this town.”
I flashed to a similar scene in the movie and realized that to give into that stinking thinking is to let the black hatted varmints win. I saw the magic that this small town has when the good times and people far outweigh the bad.
We’re not giving up.