My Little Cloud of Witnesses

I’m back from my short writing break. Overall, it was good to get away from the blogging and writing. I was reminded that it’s sometimes good to take a step back. Sometimes, it’s good to stop doing something, if only so you can place it in its proper context.

It’s good to have context.

Sitting on the edge of my desk at work are pictures of my girls, Johanna and Emma. I’m literally surrounded with their faces and smiles on the walls of my cube.

I work in insurance customer service and a good part of my job consists of talking to people after bad things happen. Think about that for a moment. Something bad happens to someone and they call you. How do think they’re feeling? Happy? Sad? Angry? Frustrated? All of the above? When I talk to people, I try to make the situation better, but sometimes people are just too angry and unhappy. There’s nothing I can do to make it better.

When you have a bad day at work, when someone yells at you or treats you like crap, it can be discouraging and can leave a real bad taste in your mouth. You second guess yourself and question whether you could have done something differently.

On the bad days at work, I find it helpful to look at the pictures of my girls. Their love for me is not based on my performance at work.

Emma, my youngest, is a funny little girl. Lately, she’s taken to telling me how she needs to give me hugs and kisses. Other times, she’ll just want to give me a kiss. Last night, Emma wanted to give me a “coffee kiss” and a “dessert kiss.” It’s her way of telling me this is a really special kiss.

Sometimes when I ask her about getting a hug, she’ll say abruptly, “I don’t have any hugs left, just kisses,” and so I have to satisfy myself with a kiss alone. Still later, she’ll tell me there are no more hugs or kisses left. The well is dry, but then if I wait a few minutes, she’ll run back to me later and give me a hug and a kiss.

All of this is to say, that on the bad days, when I look at the picture of my girls it grounds me. I’m reminded that whatever the people on the other side of my phone think of me, my girls still love me. They want to give me hugs and kisses.

I suppose in those moments,  it would be much more spiritual for me to reflect on God’s love for me or think about Jesus, but sometimes life doesn’t work that way. When you’re in the moment, when you have someone on the phone telling you all of the reasons why you’re incompetent or worse, it’s the little arms of your daughters squeezing you that are the things you remember.

Sometimes the simple things are the ones that bring me back from the edge. Those are the things that remind me who I am and that I much more than a guy who talks to people on the phone or who gives advice (good, bad or otherwise). I am much more than a guy who works in insurance.

When I leave for work in the morning, I like to get a hug from my girls just to help me remember, because it’s good to remember who I am and to hold the thought in my head. I am much more. . .

I am a father. . a husband. . .a son. . .a brother. . .a friend. . .a child of God.

2 thoughts on “My Little Cloud of Witnesses

  1. When my oldest daughter was three, I took her to a big arcade that I grew up with in South Florida. I hadn’t been there in years when I took her, and once I got there, I found that I just didn’t like arcades as much as I had previously. I decided to just play games that gave tickets, so that my daughter could get a prize. Turns out, I suck at all of those games. I was playing ski ball, and I kept getting the ball into the widest ring – the one that gives no points. My three-year-old girl was next to me, and all she knew was that I was getting the ball consistently into a hole! So every time I landed a zero-point hole, she would tug on my shirt and say, “Yay! Way to go daddy!”

    I wished I could keep her around for EVERYTHING I did. :)

    • Truly. I hear you brother.

      And in the end, whose opinion really matters? Is it the snarky teenager who’s playing ski ball next to you and who thinks you suck, or the little girl who looks with wide eyes at her papa and who loves you?

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