Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Wonderful Whole

                                PHOTO BY PANDA DAN/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

In our world today...there are battles and rumors of wars. But there is also a whisper...
a wish...a dream...a belief...a philosophy that gains power with every single freely taken
step.

On the day after Thanksgiving, I shared that attitude with a man who goes by the name
of Panda Dan. He is from China and his traveling shoes brought him to a bus bench in
a transport shelter in Newport, Oregon.

While we waited for our respective buses to arrive...we began a conversation. We
discussed life in both of our Countries. We spoke in earnest about our governments,
the protesters marching through the streets of the United States and standing firm in front
of tanks in China's Tiananmen Square.

We talked about religious freedom and the media and gender equality. Yes, we talked
about freedom.

I spoke no Chinese and Dan spoke only broken English...but during our time together...
we communicated. Oh, yes we did.

Then yesterday, Panda Dan sent me an email and the image featured above. And as I
gazed into his smiling face, I was reminded of how easy it was to build a true connection
to each other. Because we did...without barrier or exception. We built a bridge between
us that no ambassador or embassy ever will. We reached out and grabbed
hold. We created our own international bond of peace.

I am happy to say that the bond still exists today. And it was so simply and honestly done.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

Dan wrote that he is "lucky to meet (my) beautiful soul in this life." And he wrote that he is
going to tell "many people about (my) mind."

Yes, on that chilly morning by the Pacific Ocean...two halves on the face of this Earth...became
a wonderful whole.

All by ourselves.

Amen.

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