when walking through the dining room on the way to do something awesome like refill a sippy or take the underwear and socks that seem to fall off my children as they are walking to bed to the hamper, i heard sweet hazel basil singing her own lyrics to the tune of taylor swift’s shake it off: “and a hazey’s gonna haze haze haze haze haze.”
truer words have never been spoken.
looking back on this year and considering the things i have learned and the circuitous road that has gotten me here, i thought this may actually be my lesson of the year. a hazey is gonna haze haze haze haze haze. hazel is more sure of herself than anyone i have ever met. she has invented another language so if there is a rare occurrence where she is found out to be incorrect she can say, “well, in my language we say it like this…” and proceeds to explain how what she said is the right answer in her language.
she is brilliant, feisty and a fabulous concoction of awesome, strength, and confidence. my difficulty comes when i expect a hazey to NOT “haze haze haze haze haze”. i will do my best to walk alongside her and mold and shape her into who i see God making her, but she gets to be her own person.
Jesus knew people and he knew truth. he loved well because he held all of the yesterdays that brought each individual to this day and he simultaneously holds all their tomorrows. freedom comes from acknowledging that love for people is not conditional on what they do. that wouldn’t be loving them. that would be loving the version of themselves that reflects you. it would be loving yourself.
at the beginning of the year i made a decision not to open my mouth about things i didn’t know about. if i was not walking with someone who actually knew that topic firsthand then i would save my super-uniformed opinions on the matter. for example, if i did not know someone and love someone walking through poverty then i was going to bless the world around me by not sharing my unknowledgeable theories about what would solve it, fix it, or how people got to identify themselves in this camp. i resolved to first know someone and see them as a person and not primarily as an issue.
so hear this, because this is something i do know firsthand… a hazey is most definitely gonna haze haze haze haze haze. people will not instantaneously change their lives because you have expressed they should. mostly for this reason: you never sought to understand how they got there. you do not have to agree with where they land, but the conversation is much more open to those who care to acknowledge there was a yesterday that came before today, which helped shape the “issue” you confront today.
this year has been one of tremendous growth, incredible learning, and far fewer words than my usual quota. i have sat and listened and cried both tears of joy and sorrow as i was humbled to receive the honor of getting to know people and have them share the struggle and the beauty interwoven through the fabric of their lives. there is beauty in each and every created being and i am happy to learn from each beautiful specimen i come across. i do not now agree with each person as i sought to unpack their yesterday portion of the story, but i have much greater confidence in my ability to love them. love the them that has chosen a path different than what i would have chosen given their deck of cards. there is beauty in the journey, in the lesson, in the learning.