Monday, 29 April 2013

Familiarity all round

It was a great week, well I have had lots of great weeks but this one was exceptionally great.
Mirror mirror on the wall.

It was Tuesday afternoon. My cousin and her husband were coming to visit- all the way from Sweden. We hadn't seen each other since 1961 apart from the odd photo here and there. We do have very regular contact, first with emails and now we Skype regularly. We get on well.

At the end of the afternoon the doorbell rings. I open the door and we embrace emotionally. It felt GREAT. Our eyes meet and we instantly feel a warm sense of intimate recognition. Her husband is all smiles, he laughs at our abundant embrace- something special happened he said later! We didn't see it, as we were the picture he observed. It was heart warming.

As this was a festive moment we decided to celebrate and we went out for dinner. After deliberating we decided on Greek food. We, my husband and I, assured them of good food and a great atmosphere. A great evening ensued.

My cousin and I are both teachers and our experiences are equal almost in detail. We are both a bit gadget mad and we share a love for the kitchen. Also these past months, we share the ache of mother anguish as she too has a daughter living in New Zealand. The prospect of her daughter choosing this as a possible home weighs heavily. She and I understand each other and the ache we experience.

Biology lessen: comparing notes
We made plans for their stay. We would visit Kinderdijk, Park de Hoge Veluwe and de Hollandse Biesbosch. We would dine at home as well as out and catch up, catch up and catch up some more. Our jaws worked overtime. Yes, they did. The days just flew by and before we realised it, it was time to say goodbye. Luckily our men also connected on many levels. It was great to see they too had common ground to communicate and get to know each other. That can lead to some discomfort if not all personalities ' gel'.
Visiting Kinderdijk

This wasn't my first experience of instant recognition. I looked into the eyes of another family member I hadn't seen for about 40 odd years and we ' knew' each other. So familiar, so comfortable, so safe! We needed few words to express things - we just knew without speaking. Oh, it was bliss.

The recognition I had in New Zealand too! If I was in town and I saw people walking down the street I could almsot be sure to recognise the dutch ones in a crowd. Somehow that familiarity is recognisable.

A few months ago I spoke to someone on the topic of ' being a christian'. She had described herself as NOT being one. No she didn't attend church, wasn't a believer or anything. During our acquaintance she told me about her comings and  goings, the things that empowered her to help others. The commitments she made to help make a difference. I felt that many a church go-er would be inspired by the life she led.

Her love for humanity reflected in her eyes. Recognisable, comfortable and beautiful. She was doing His work without fully realising it.

What intreagues me about conversations like that is the perception that people have about being christian  and how  they  look! One can recognise a christian by their serene look, their poise, their restfulness, their patience and understanding. That they  are perceived to be the saviours of humanity and the world's problem solvers. And to do all this they  get on their knees and pray the problems away! Not to forget that being  christian also means experiencing grief, sorrow and suffering in their lives.

I hope that after our chats and exchange of ideas, she has a clearer insight of  them.  At the very least a clearer impression without destroying the whole picture. I am proud to know her and call her friend.

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