I’m not sure what F. Scott Fitzgerald had in mind when he wrote “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” You may recall the movie with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett of a little boy who grows young in reverse of his peers. He begins his life old, wrinkled, tired, and world-worn. He grows taller and stronger as his days pass; his features become youthful as he ages. His body’s chronology is in reverse.
So I hope for my heart.
I hope for a heart like Benjamin Button.
We are born and by no fault of our own, we enter into a collection of people. Family for most. Life and Junior High enter in and we begin to wear down. We wrinkle and age. Our hearts take hits.
But what if we begin with a broken calcified heart that over time grows more healthy, supple, and pliable?
When I first wrote this blog, I thought of the people in far places who live under harsh suns and are whipped by winds fierce and fraught with debris. People who long for a cup of fresh water. Perhaps it was the “Every Drop Counts” commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Ar0eCp6uE&feature=youtu.be) that had me thinking of people, poverty, and gratitude.
I remembered generous folks with very little who shared what they had. People in Villa Mella, Dominican Republic; or our Czech neighbors who endured Nazi death camps and shared so much with the kids in my family, and the documented generosity of many homeless people towards one another and passersby. Hard working people who’ve suffered much and share what they can.
Somehow – without falsely romanticizing poverty, homelessness, and suffering – people have grown hearts tender towards others. These same people may have a host of faults. Like us, they may fail, lose their tempers, save all of the sweets for themselves, but portions of their hearts have grown open, aware-of-others, and willing to offer kindness or love.
This African-American woman who saved a racist from a mob, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24653643
These Muslim people who protected Christians from attack in Kenya, https://goo.gl/xfPhls
These Christians who surrounded their Muslim neighbors and protected them, http://goo.gl/Jb4qC7
Teachers who protect their students, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/hadline
I want a heart like this.
A Benjamin Button heart has grown “younger” with time. Open. Malleable. Hopeful.
Absent of the tantrumed entitlements.
Patient. Kind. Growing more pliable and supple with each breath.
Derringdo to our wounded hearts.