He said, she said...
He said I'd been selected for the most thorough search the TSA offers to airline passengers. No, it wasn't a random selection, he said; the ticket agent had handwritten a special code directly onto my ticket. I had been singled out from the crowd for some reason.
I thought to myself: I've always known how special I am, but this is taking it a little too far. Later on while we sat waiting for the flight, I remarked to my friends that they had neglected to detect my bag of cosmetics, lotions, and potions. I had been wanded and searched, but my bags had not.
He said that he used to write notes and leave them in obvious places for other people to find. He said that he hoped someone would find them and help him. He knew he needed help, but didn't know who to ask or what to ask for.
I said, "That's exactly the point of keeping a journal. Write down what you need, how you feel, what you think, and what you hope for. Except now we know Who has the answers to our questions. We know Who is always listening to the cry of our hearts. And we believe with all our hearts that He is ready, willing, and able to do more than all we could ask or imagine. That's what He promised."
She said that the reason I journal so much and so well is because I have a vivid imagination. I can look at ads on television or photos in magazines and respond because of some inherent quality in me, something she didn't have. I disagreed with her assessment.
The next day, after she read her responses to the journaling prompts I'd assigned, I was the first one to tell her that her words, her list of things that make her smile, her responses to the word "music" were some of the most eloquent and expressive words I'd heard in a long time.
He pointed out the plazas where Christians were martyred during the Inquisition. He pointed out the neighborhood where Jews lived and from which they were later expelled. He explained the language of sculpture with regard to soldiers and their horses: One horse's hoof in the air meant that the man had died of wounds inflicted in battle. Two hoofs up meant he had died on the battlefield. All four feet on the ground meant that he had died of causes unrelated to war. Then he led us to a downtown tapas restaurant where we stood at the bar eating, drinking, laughing, and telling stories of earlier journeys.
I pulled him aside later, hugged him, and said, "Thanks for everything you told us. You are an excellent tour guide." He smiled, blushed, and kept on talking.
He said, "It has been a blessing to meet you and have you spend this week with us. Your love for Spain, for journaling, and for the Lord are obvious. And your teaching has opened my mind to new paths and inspired me to start journaling again."
I said nothing. He had said it all.
What can she say in response to something like that?