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Oceans For Emotions: Lying out of kindness

Jan. 21, 2011 at midnight
Updated Jan. 20, 2011 at 7:21 p.m.

Elaine Wheat

By Elaine Wheat

"She shall rejoice in times to come."

- Proverbs 31:25

Today, I found the only guaranteed way to be sure of getting a fish. I went to one of my favorite seafood restaurants at the coast and ordered "The Catch of The Day." Works every time.

Eating there today reminded me of a yesterday when I ate there. I had driven my mom and one of her good friends down to the beach for the expressed purpose of eating seafood at this restaurant.

"What comes around, goes around," is true. They had driven me to the beach when I was too young to drive, so now, being older and all, I had the privilege of driving them.

After we were seated at a table by the window, my mom started describing the decor of the restaurant and reading the menu to her friend.

I was going to write that she was doing this because her friend was blind, but that was only literally true, for her friend was the most insightful individual I have ever known.

She, with her faith, could see through doubts that clouds other's minds and leave them sightless of God as being perfect love, mind, peace, health and happiness.

Then her friend turned to me and asked me to describe the ocean scene that we could see out the window. I just couldn't tell her that all we could see was a dirty shrimp boat anchored at the dock and a rusted barge creeping down the oil slick channel. So I lied.

Using every beachy adjective I could conjure up, I described a beach scene that an artist would loved to have depicted: White, clean sand stretching from the sand dunes down to the ocean's edge, soft waves as far out as one could see, a brilliant sun playing hide and seek through whipped cream clouds like frosting set on the bluest sky I had ever seen.

As my mom listened to my lies, she could only stand it so long, and began giving me "the look" that I haven't seen since she would sit in the church choir and stare at me sitting in the back row of the church with the other kids.

I just kept right on lying through my teeth and kept describing my imaginary blessed beach.

Finally, my mom caught on to what I was doing. I realized this when she said, "Oh, look, there is a little boy down there with his mother and every time a wave goes out he runs out on the wet sand after it, but when another wave starts in, he turns tail and runs back to his mother as fast as his little brown feet can run."

I thought, "Way to go, Mom."

The friend laughed and said, "I can just see him. Do you remember how my youngest son would do just that?"

Dear Lord, I believe that even though both my mom and our friend have passed on to that other shore, they are not really gone. They are just some place where we can't see them for a while. I know they are still with me for I can feel their wind beneath the wings that they taught me to use.

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