“What’s with the scarf?” she asked, “You used to wear scarves a long time ago, apparently, but they were ridiculously long. What’s with this?”
“Never mind that,” he muttered in a brusque manner, “I wear scarves now. Scarves are brilliant. Especially in keeping my neck warm. Come along, we have things to do.”
When they last visited this place, she remembered how he slowly took on what was around him. The way he took time with the inhabitants. His genuine concern for their wellbeing.
That was the old guy.
This guy on the surface appeared to be the polar opposite. When people expressed their concern over an act, he would almost rudely dismiss their concerns and plough on with the act. In as much as at first it appeared insensitive, the outcome proved not only was he right to do it, he was right to do it in the way he did it. The inhabitants got used to it quicker than she did. It was as if they knew he was the same guy and were happy to see it in a new approach even as she questioned his methods.
There could be no doubting the results. Even as she doubted him, his own sense of purpose remained unshakeable. That’s how it appeared. Until she casually approached the matter as they were leaving. “Why do you always have to be right?” she queried, “Your confidence in your ability has never been more sure!”
“Oh don’t believe that!” he answered quickly, “I am not sure. I don’t know all the time. Sometimes I fear the decision I make could go horribly wrong and lead to hurt. Especially to you.”
“Really?!” she exclaimed, “It certainly doesn’t look like that.”
“You must understand,” his voice softer and more patient than she had ever heard it, “This life is not certain. Nothing is sure. Change is ever lurking for good or bad. We have a choice as to how to live in the light of that. We can reflect that uncertainty and dither on things, wavering to and fro never settling and never getting things done. Or we can internally acknowledge the uncertainty and boldly face it in all our fear and weakness. I knew a long time ago which path I prefer. But that never means I don’t have those fears, concerns or dread. I just choose to let those things take second place to what matters most.”
She looked mesmerised and asked, “What’s that then?”
“You don’t know?” he retorted almost hurt.
“No. No I don’t anymore.”
“Ahhhhhhhh.” he mused knowingly. “You will. You will.”
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden