Just Across the Table

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He wasn’t sitting more than two feet away from me. The seats at the coffee shop were comfortable. My latte was within arm’s reach. And all I could think was that the intelligent, likable, well-educated young man across the table from me was hurtling full speed toward the edge of a cliff with a blindfold on.

Ever had the feeling?

It’s excruciating to sit helplessly by while people you care for dearly make decisions that may cost them everything. What do you do? You do the only thing you can. You open your mouth and with your words you reach out across the two feet—though it feels like two hundred miles—and you labor with all your being to be heard. Perhaps he has ears to hear. If he does, you’ve saved a life.

And if he doesn’t? You take another sip of your latte and swallow your tears along with the coffee.

He must chart his own path. I can read him the signs along the road, but he’s sitting behind the wheel.

If I didn’t love him, the thought would be somewhat comforting.

May our words be rescue ladders and bridges, safety lines and life-giving water, and, clothed in grace and power, may they accomplish all they are sent out to accomplish.

And even when our words fall on deaf ears, may we never fall silent, lest the rocks raise their voices and cry out.

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