Almost 3 years ago, I was sitting in a van on our way to a refugee camp. When we arrived, the door opened and an impressive amount of people tumbled in.
Within seconds I was squeezed between the window and a large man. There may have been twenty of us in that van and I prepared myself for what I imagined could be a long and uncomfortable trip.
The door was barely shut that the man next to me turned in my direction, looked me in the eye and asked me my name. He told me that his name was Daniel and then asked me “what I believed in.”
Not where I was from, how old I was nor if I had kids.
What I believed in.
The rest of the trip, which was less than thirty minutes, flew by as he proceeded to make sure I wasn’t giving him any light answers. While he shared his heart with me, he figuratively held my hand as I got closer and closer to my own truth - and thus shared my heart with him.
When we arrived, someone opened the van door and many bodies spilled out.
Daniel kissed my cheek goodbye (Congo and France apparently share this sweet practice) and I never saw him again.
These minutes of depth and intimate connection stuck with me. They are made especially vibrant by the contrast of the physical situation. Time was not “set aside” for us to have this conversation. Also, it existed all on its own with no past history and no vision of a joint future.
It stood alone, strong and powerful.
This is the kind of stuff that for me, makes life richly, deeply delicious.
Like a dark, sweetly fragrant crumbly compost that nourishes all it touches and invites us to grow deeper roots wherever we are.
The real thing. The most important.
Daniel, wherever you are today, I hope that you continue your sacred work and that Life is seeing you - and loving you back.