There is a story about a man.
At first, he was a boy with wide eyes — he loved to take in everything he could.
As he became a man, his eyes stayed wide, but they also began to be very full with so many things.
He wrestled to reconcile and integrate everything he saw, felt, and came to believe.
He wanted to love his Creator. But his ideas of how to do that could never sit still… and sometimes neither did his resolve.
He wanted to love his fellow humans. But likewise his ideas about how just couldn’t sit still, and at times, his resolve in this too would wane.
From year to year, or month to month, or day to day, he would remember one of these wild hopes that had come through his wide eyes into his eager heart. In fits and starts, he ran here, stumbled there, and sometimes just laid there in the dust and licked his wounds or played in the dirt to distract himself from pain.
He walked a long time, seemingly trying to find “it” — that just-right task or way of life that let him really love himself and his Creator and his near-loved humans and the faraway-lovable humans… as well and big and thoroughly as his heart hoped to.
His hopes were so big, sometimes because he wanted such good things for others, sometimes because he thought that being smart or energetic would be enough to make him succeed. So many times he would try things with big hopes, and then leave them when he realized that he hoped for something more.
Sometimes along the way, the things he learned and tried were helpful to others. Sometimes less so.
In his old age, he spent hours sitting by himself, or talking agitatedly or wistfully with others, scratching his head or with his face in his hands, wondering when or where he should have stopped and sat still and stayed put.
But some other times he smiled, knowing that he had gotten to experience a lot, and that others had loved him, and he had loved others, and that the way he was is okay, and it was okay that his journey didn’t end up sitting still long enough to do anything worth writing articles or history notes about.
He died with some people who he loved — especially his Creator — still loving him back.
And this was a beautiful story.