John and Farouk in Advent

This is such a beautiful and thoughtful post by my friend Charles LaFond, a minister in the Episcopal tradition. It is about stuck patterns. It is about wildly different perceptions. It is about common heart. Reading it made me involuntarily stop in my day to be still.

Here’s a snippet. Read the whole thing on Charles’ blog post.

Let’s say that the average, run-of-the-mill guy in Iraq were given a pen and paper and asked to write about the average run-of-the-mill American.  As an American man, I expect that when I read what the Iraqi guy wrote I would disagree.  I would read his writing and I would say “no!”  I would say “That is not an accurate picture of the average American man!”

The Iraqi man, Farouk, let’s call him,  is writing from his perspective.  He is wiring from his cinder-block house half-built and partly exposed to the elements, but with parts covered with metal sheets he found by a road and a blue tarp.  His anger at the death of his two sons and his daughter’s undiagnosed disease would enflame his writing.  His wife’s bent exhaustion from trying to keep his other four children and their parents and his brother and her three sisters fed would further exhaust and enrage him.  His work moving rocks for a local construction company would anger his hard, cracked hands as he wrote his angry words.  This is not the life he wants….