(Each month I will share random thoughts, which I call “Ramblings.” They are mostly reflections and inspirations which come to me during moments of prolonged quiet. My hope is that my thoughts and words will in some way touch you as we journey together on the road “less traveled”).

Our Many Selves”

One of our greatest joys, through the years, has been to travel to see our children and their children. They are scattered all over: Texas, South Carolina and California. This means that we do not get to see them as often as we like. Several years ago we traveled to Houston, Texas to visit our then four-year-old granddaughter, Caitie. The occasion was her birthday.

We anticipated that she would be the complete angel we fantasized her to be and for most of our time together, she was. Though, on the day of her party, she was particularly cranky, so she was made to lie down, hopefully for a nap, before the guests arrived. When she wouldn’t turn off the cartoons and lay down, I took charge. I turned off the TV and told her she needed to lay down. As she was headed toward the pillow, in a not so sweet voice, I heard her say, “blah-blah-blah-blah!” As she laid down and I was closing the door, she softly said, “Dodo-head!” It was hard to believe that “My” little Caitie could be acting like that, especially to her loving “Pee-Paw.”

Caitie is a reminder to all of us, that we have our sweet and not so sweet sides. We would like it to be otherwise, but it isn’t. This was marvelously put by Edward Stanford Martin in his poem: “Mixed.”

Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd;

There’s one of us that’s humble, one that’s proud.

There’s one that’s brokenhearted for sins,

And one that unrepentant sits and grins;

There is one that loves his neighbors as self,

And one that cares for naught but fame and pelf,

From much corroding care I should be free

If I could once determine which is me!

The truth is that all are me. We are “mixed.” Thankfully, we have a God who accepts and loves us as we are. A God who calls us to be the best we were created to be. A God who is present to forgive when we are not. There is nothing that we can ever do that will change God’s care for us. Wouldn’t it be freeing if everyone could just accept that fact?

By the way, this is how it is with this grandfather. I love Caitie, B-Rat or not. That will never change. By the way, Caitie is now twenty-five and has a year and a half old daughter of her own. I look forward to observing how she deals with her Valerie’s “many selves.” It makes me smile inside.

May God bless you all as you wrestle with your “many selves.”