Friday, March 27, 2009

Salsa Dancing

Right out of college, I worked at a Treatment Center for youth, particularly with those that were violent. I had some amazing times with the boys, that in many ways were lost in a world that did not want them. While most times were good, there were others...

At dinner, we passed around the bowls filled with various makings for the tacos. Like most nights, we had cooked our own food, preparing for when society was re-entered. Each took their portion, leaving some for the next.

When at last the salsa made its round, one young man poured it all upon his plate and then passed the empty jar. When he refused to share, I told him I would have to portion it out. As I reached across the table, his fork slashed out like a striking snake. In the nick of time, my hand pulled back.

My eyes lifting to meet his, found his plate of food on it's way. Salsa flooded into my eyes, burning, clouding them from the incoming jar that had become a missile. Off my forehead, it crashed to the ground. Over the table, I met him with a bear hug and held on until help could arrive.

Life can seem so out of control at times. While there are some things we can control, there is much that we can not. Coming to grips with this is a battle, as we struggle with what we feel entitled to and go to great lengths to get our way, blurring the lines between what we want and what we need. The need to control makes us do things we never thought we would. Our faith seems to be greater in our own effort to hold things together. At least that is something I have to fight inside myself, daily.

8 comments:

Mrsupole said...

I wonder what happened to the boy, if he ever figured out his anger issues. That was so great of you to not get angry back. Yes it is all about control or lack of control that causes anger.

I wish you lots of peace in your daily fight and am glad that you have your faith to help with it. I know that these are hard times for you right now, so I really do hope things will get better. And they also say that God only gives you what you can handle, so you seem to be handling it fairly well. Love also helps and you seem to have lots of love. When it comes down to it, love is all that really matters, love is the only thing you can take with you. Things are just things. I know, I have lots of things, but I also know that none are as important as my family's love.

God bless.

Cinnamon said...

Some of the most inspiring people I have met are people who have not got control over their lives- mostly through chronic or terminal illness. Some of the most desperate people I have met are people who have not got control over their lives- mostly through chronic or terminal illness.

I often wonder what it is that makes the difference- is it personality? faith? experience?

I think it may be letting go of what you cannot control. I think this is very difficult to do. I know I cannot do it! As Mrsupole says, we can fill our lives with things but we need to know what is really important.

Daniel said...

How many times I have felt and acted just like that young boy that exploded in your presence. Many times I am totally out of control in my desperate state and I cannot see an easy answer. I wish that I had someone there to hold me back, protect me from myself, and comfort me. A good story that I will ponder on throughout the day. Blessings.

Leah said...

Oh, well said, Brian. A really excellent parable of sorts.

Something I also grapple with...

Candie Bracci said...

And yes...life can seems so out of control sometimes.People are handling situations how they can until they cannot anymore.I wish you well.Have a great weekend.

Brian Miller said...

@cinnamon....great points. i think it takes a certain humility too in realising you can not do it alone.

@candie...seems to be happening more and more as their personal and economic lives are spinning out of control.

@mrsu...too true. having family near makes a whole lot of things more bearable. Love is where its at!

subtorp77 said...

Mom worked at a place called Devereaux. Lots of bad cases there. Not good memories. And the upper staff....some worse than the kids, themselves.

Ronda Laveen said...

I feel that you stated the heart of the issue right off the bat. Many were lost in a world that did not want them. Imagine: how would your reactions be if you were in the scenario? What changes would you make?