I’ve been thinking… about Loyalty. I’m not sure I view myself as all that Loyal. I want to be. I want to see the best in others and to celebrate life. I am fairly true to myself. I believe in and love God. I like people. I love all my children. I want to love and develop greater compassion for others, and I’m willing to repeatedly keep trying. Having an open heart and kind motives helps. I pray for faith as I face the gift of each new day.
Yesterday, at the end of kickboxing, I accidentally walked into the middle of a conversation. It gets super crowded during the transition time between classes, so I couldn’t help but over hear this exchange. Friend I was telling Friend II about a tattoo he wanted to get. It would be of a Loyalty symbol. There are numerous designs of this. Friend II has a Chinese version on the back of her neck.
Friend I informed, “The one I’m getting is so cool. It’s not just on the surface. It goes way deeper. It’s Loyalty to the bone!” Then I watched him as he quieted, swallowed and got kind of teary-eyed before we went our ways. I wondered what he meant exactly, or what pain he was reliving. And then the moment passed. I wonder if having a tattoo helps you to remember to be Loyal?
For some reason “Loyalty to the Bone” made me think of Braveheart and men in kilts, (not tights), and this morphed into memories of my son playing wide receiver for his small high school football team.”Brave to the Bone.” Next thing I know I’m imagining Friday Night Lights, our boys on the sideline chanting, arms to the square, end of the fourth quarter, last big offensive drive, and… I catch myself mouthing the chant silently,”North Summit Braves!” while working an invisible tomahawk.
“What are you doing?” asks my Angel, inpertinently.
“Blogging,” I reply, trying to ignore her judgement, and type on.
Yes. Braveheart reminds me of my son, Donavon, who is of Scottish decent. Or of my daughter, Sister VanCouver, posturing with sharp butter knives in front of the X-Men Castle with a bag of Books of Mormon.
(Again, flash to the past a few years back to when he and Devon were in high school and became quite amazing swimmers.) Instead of sporting a kilt, though, Don could be found with bare chested buddies, wrapped in purple and gold North Summit Braves swim towels, and him accessorizing with red plaid skater shoes. Crazy kids!
Tonight Don is home writing a research paper on the topic of concealed weapons on college campuses, while Devon is somewhere in B.C. Canada saying her bedtime prayers. Guns in general scare me. Writing papers scares Donavon. Cooking did not scare Angel tonight. Her creamed corn was a big hit! We have just finished dinner. Clearing the table, dishes and distractions have taken wayyyyyyy too much time away from writing the paper, when I ask:
“Do you think of yourself as a loyal person?”
He replies, “Yes. I view myself as a VERY loyal person. I don’t think many people are loyal these days.”
I don’t quite know what to say, so I inject,
“Yes, you are loyal!” He is a good, caring, obedient boy, and an Eagle Scout who knows and lives the Scout Law. You can ask anyone who knows him.
Next thing we know, it is 9 p.m. and time for Donavon to drive back to college. We say our goodbyes and he leaves me to my thoughts and this blog.
I wonder what it means to be Loyal? I attempt my own definition:
An integrity trait. Dependablity. To be tried and true to someone or something. Staying power. To Love through every joy and trial. Long-suffering. Present and responsive for life and beyond. Not ephemeral, not fleeting. Stout of heart.
I cycle through contexts of Loyalty and start a short list of those who are loyal. It is impossible to do this without names coming to mind, but I keep it general.
Pilot in The Little Prince
I decide to think on these last two….”Jesus, my Savior, pilot me,” I pray some days. I can’t help but compare the situation in The Little Prince, to Christ in Gethsemene. When it is nearing the time for the Prince to leave Earth to return to his flower, he is going to the death he has arranged for with the yellow sand viper. The pilot, who has only known the innocent child for eight days, promises repeatedly,
“I will not leave you.” I love this part very much. He holds him in his arms.
This scene translates into another emotional one from another time and place.
“We won’t leave you,” promised those who waited with Jesus in the last hours before His betrayal by Judas Iscariot. Christ beckons the emotional support of his closest friends. It is powerful that He would ask for help. In a quintessential moment for the Son of God just prior to atoning for the sins of all humanity, He calls those he loves to “Come” and wait with Him. His disciples accompany, but fall asleep at the wall. He returns and finds them sleeping. When Jesus needs the love and support of His friends and His Father the most, they leave Him to fend for himself. I am reminded that human intentions fall short.
And yet, He overcame, so as to drink the bitter cup and do the will of His Father. Id’ like to believe Angels were close by. I’m grateful Jesus was and is Loyal and Loves everyone, in spite of our failures. This gives me hope and the desire to keep trying and trying, in my own realms of life, again and again. God is good. He is a loyal Father. He will not leave us. He gave His Son.