“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”– Albus Dumbledore
Dumbledore is a man of few, but profound words. October means it is time for my Harry Potter marathon—a Potter movie (or two) every weekend until Halloween. I just finished watching The Chamber of Secrets and the headmaster’s words quoted above have been sticking with me.
His words echoed in my head this weekend as I spent some time playing kickball with homeless kids. As I started my work week, I carried with me the smiles on their faces, the high fives, the laughter, and the excitement from the game. A simple game played in a parking lot with hula hoops for bases.
The kids and their families chose to embrace the moment. To enjoy the company of strangers. To pray for their blessings. To play and have fun regardless of their abilities or their situations. I have nothing but admiration for those kids. They are making the best of their situation—living in cubical bedrooms with tarps for walls. Sleeping on cots. Yet choosing to enjoy life whenever life gives them enjoyable things—not dwelling on what they don’t have, but what they do.
Spending my free time serving others may have some labeling me a “do gooder” trying to earn some Earthly praise or cosmic medal or maybe even work my way to heaven. Not at all. I do hope I’m helping, but the reality is what I receive often outweighs what I give. The giving and receiving are practically indistinguishable. The two together make something beautiful, healing, and the closest thing to heaven I have ever experienced—whether I’m giving or receiving. I can hardly ever tell which is which.
This world is a broken mess. We can’t make it whole again. But we can fill the cracks with mortar. Still broken, but patched together–the giver and the receiver—one in the same. We can choose to be together and find joy despite the flaws.
Thanks for the game kids!
It’s our choices that show us who we really are. Indeed.