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"But we don't have anything in common!"

Curly-haired Daughter received her information about her freshman college roommate and the two of them have been getting to know each other via all the technological stuff they have at their fingertips (I had mail. You remember mail, don't  you?)

Daughter is a bit tentative. She hasn't had to share a bedroom in a really long time, is used to her space, and is....finicky. Particular. A bit spoiled in terms of her comfort zone. Naturally, she is wondering how the whole roommate thing is going to work, let alone how the personalities of two folks is going to shake out.

Last night, she mentioned that she'd been chatting with the young lady who will be her roommate. After a few minutes, she cried, "She's nice but...what if we don't have anything in common?!" I laughed. And laughed. Because I know.

I told my daughter, "I was just Facebooking today with a friend from college. He's gay, married to his partner, and a Baptist minister. How much do you think we have in common? And yet, we're friends." Her eyes drew wide, and she nodded.

I think about my two best friends from college. One is Muslim, lives a rather upscale life, and shares her home with her extended Pakistani family. The other is divorced, her long-time fiance passed away awhile ago and she is tentatively dating again. Her spiritual life has always been a bit more...wandering than mine. And yet, I know if I called either right this moment and said, "I need you" they'd be at my side as fast as they could.

What do we have in common? First and foremost, we all believe the other is full of God's grace and His beloved child. We believe in respect of differing beliefs, even if they puzzle and perhaps anger us. We love each other. Yes, there are shared memories, fun times in the past, but we have also made the very concrete choice to continue to be part of each other's lives. Our commonality is our bond, our choice, our love,

I hope for the same for my daughter, as she launches into this very exciting part of her life. Oh, I how I hope for this. Nothing compares.

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Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.