Friday, August 29, 2014

The Heart

Within every amazingly good institution there is an individual who is the heart. In exceptional places, there are several. They exemplify what is unique and lovely and powerful within the context of that place. The heart not only keeps things moving, but carries the memories and cultural traditions. They inspire and lead and encourage and guide without even knowing what they are doing sometimes. And when the heart is gone, for whatever reason, the work environment mourns. It will eventually change and a new heart will emerge to fit the new culture and work will continue. But those who were there before always remember and poignantly feel the loss. Phrases like "remember when" and "I sure do miss..." echo in their minds on a regular schedule.

A couple of years ago, the heart left abruptly for health reasons. It was the right thing, but it still hurt. Our family mourned and moved on slowly because we knew it was for the best. A new way of getting things done began to grow in fits and starts.

Then, just as a new culture was forming, another heart was needlessly removed. Here one day, gone the next. Careless and untrue accusations rocked our piece of the world and we wondered if things would ever be right again. Unable to move forward and impossible to return to life before, our family accepted, grudgingly, the new status. Our heart was missing and we didn't know if it would come back. We were incomplete and the loss affected us all. A new normal emerged that was a shadow of what it should be. And we waited. We prayed. We snooped. Then we prayed some more. And we waited, always wondering if our heart would come back to us, or if we would have to create another new way of operating.

Today, our heart returned. It was a glorious surprise that was the perfect uplifting end to a hard first week. The return was answered prayers and patient waiting for justice. It was a beautiful thing. I don't know what it felt like to have over 700 people on their feet chanting your name, friend, but from where I was standing it was the best!

Welcome Home!


Post a Comment