Thursday, September 3, 2015

Just Two Guys

I met Dave for dinner last night.  Neither of us could recall when we last shared a meal --- ten years?  Fifteen?  We first crossed paths on the Paint The Town board, in those years when we (and lots of volunteers) helped three or four hundred poor homeowners a year --- in a single day’s work!  We shared so many memories of the work we did in those years together, and so many wonderful people we worked with and helped.  And as we shared our memories, we recognized that, perhaps, in many ways we were the one most helped.
But so many things have happened since then.
I was dragged to a luncheon last week --- and “dragged” is the right word; I absolutely did not want to go.  My United Way director insisted, however, that I go to meet the new CEO of the hospice we helped with United Way funding.  The first thing I noticed at the luncheon was that the woman shared the same last name as my long-lost friend, Dave.  “Are you related to Dave?” I asked.  “Related?  Well no, we not family, but we are related.  Dave hired me --- he’s on the board of this hospice.”  Another year, another board --- yup, that’s the Dave I know.
After our dinner last night, Dave walked me through the boards and project’s he’s served on since we last met, and I walked him through mine.  He cared for his wife for over a year, as she died of cancer.  I cared for my mom for over seven years as she died of old age.  And we spoke at some length about the projects we are involved in now, both managing finances, and both focused on helping people in need, those who few care about:  Dave, in an organization tutoring poor women to help them get their GED and a decent job, and me in an organization caring for the developmentally disabled, making sure they are cared for and loved.
Dave and I are getting on in years, but we both feel that we are also getting on in wisdom.  We’ve learned how to love better through our prior experiences, and while we use our business talents to ensure the financial security of the organizations we help manage, we also have learned how to make time to touch those we help.  It’s why we do what we do, answering God’s call for help; we do it for the knowledge that at least one life is a little better because of ours --- and oh, if we get a tear of happiness, or a smile, or a hug along the way, well that’s another one of the things about our Paint The Town adventure we’ll never forget, and still yearn for.
We’re just two guys, trying to use the talents God gave us.  We don’t know why we’re that way.  We looked at our families, the way we were brought up, our school influences --- we are just different, and we could often feel it, even if we couldn’t describe it.  Why did God make us this way?  And why does it seem like we are getting more focused as time goes by?  And why have our paths crossed again?
We’re just two guys.

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