The odd thing was, he was saying it in Portuguese. The fact that it was being translated for all to understand, even in repetition? Not odd, at all.
Today, I sit high up in a galaxy not so far away, a physical galaxy that existed a long time ago in only the mind’s eye of one or two, and I am looking down upon the place those words were repetitively spoken.
Life is like a fountain, indeed. Experiences, insights, and aspirations bubble up, fly high into the air, and then fall heavy to the surface, where they may go down deep, only to be drawn back up later by an energy source not their own.
Such is this moment. A physical transition moment in life has me pondering Luke 12, bigger barns, eyes of needles, and not going away from Jesus sad. The transition moment, itself, has actually been more like weeks, and it has helped clear the waters feeding my fountain.
The place I temporarily reside was last occupied by goods folks: folks who routinely speak Portuguese, by the way. Little Frau and I decided, upon moving in to this temporary abode, that we would adopt a Brazilian alter ego for any and all who might ask what we are currently up to. OK, I decided amidst her objections, but I digress.
I was recently recalling the humor I found in this “Life is like a fountain” memory to the son of that translator from long ago. As my story unfolded, he began to fidget a bit. As I continued, he began to turn red. When I uttered the historical names of our assumed alter egos, he began to cry.
Feeling about as low as the silt below a fountain, I stopped and asked what I had said to elicit such emotion. He went on to share his memories of the same “Life is like a fountain” man, and his penchant for repetition. He also shared how some of life’s more unfortunate characteristics had later turned that speaker of old sour and bitter, and how he had pulled back from God.
As I’ve grown older over the years, I’ve come to understand more the things that confused me as a child:
How Adam was compelled to take a bite,
How Cain let his disappointment and jealousy get the better of him,
How Sarai laughed,
How Moses reacted in anger,
How Gideon hid out in fear,
How the Children of Israel continued to cycle into bad choices as a collective people,
How Elijah got discouraged and ran away to hide,
How Jesus got physically tired…
And sad, on occasion.
I also have come to understand how Paul found joy, and why John concludes with “Amen”, and “LORD, come quickly”.
From the depths of our experiences comes an energy that allows us to rain down around others, if we will but allow it to be released.
Life is like a fountain, indeed.
And, you don’t have to speak Portuguese to understand it.