Opposites aren’t always different

window-933485_1920I started to write about some minor stuff today. You’ll see it sometime soon, but this happened – and I had to tell you about it.

Quick background: Bill Burton, my first and late husband, had four children when we got married. They were half grown already. Then we had Ana together. Bill’s kids started having babies, and I was a grandmother at 38.

Good golly, Miss Molly.

Taao was the first Burton grandbaby,  all grown up now and on his own. I don’t see him often, but we are Facebook friends, so I get an occasional glimpse into his life. Like this story he shared yesterday…

Apparently the man in the Mini Cooper was in a big hurry. He drove out of a parking lot and cut off a LOT of people in every lane, creating quite the kerfuffle. As horns honked, Taao simply changed lanes and moved on, shaking his head in disbelief.

Apparently the man in the Mini Cooper didn’t like Taao’s harmless form of disapproval. He caught up with Taao, rolled down his window and started a rather loud and heated conversation. Taao smiled, laughed, and kept driving.

Apparently the man in the Mini Cooper did have enough time to continue his display of disapproval and aggravation. But this time, he didn’t stop with words. He held up a gun, making sure Taao saw it.


Now at this point, I would have, oh – I don’t know… put on the brakes? changed lanes? wet my pants a little?

But Taao took a different route which, to say the least, scared the bejeepers out of me and his mom and dad and anyone else who read the account. He rolled down his window and asked, “What are you trying to do?”

And that was it. The man took off, almost wrecking his little car as he cut Taao off once again.

As you might expect, the FB comment section was a flurry of colorful language and interesting ideas. Most of them were either report the [guy] (there were various descriptors used)  or oh, my GOSH, be careful/safe/cautious…

Taao did make note of the license plate, color, and model of the car. And he did the right thing. He reported the incident to the police. Being threatened with a gun is no small matter, and he knew better than to ignore what could turn into something uglier.

But it’s what Taao said while reporting the incident that makes me so proud. These are his words:

In talking to the officer I made the conscious decision not to pursue it.
He asked if my life felt threatened. I said no.
He asked if the man looked dangerous. I said no.
He…looked like he was having a rough day and I literally watched his expression, when I asked him what he was trying to do, turn to what…am I doing? and he sped off.
I think he knows he made a mistake and we will leave it at that.

Oh, my. Every time I read those wise words I break down a little.

Taao and I are pretty different from each other in a lot of ways. The biggest gaps between us are distance, age, and faith. He lives across country from me. I’m, well, his grandmother. And Taao doesn’t believe in God.

But, my lovelies, just because we are different doesn’t mean we can’t build a strong relationship on love and respect. It doesn’t mean that Taao will always do the opposite of what I would do. It doesn’t mean that everything he does maligns what I believe so strongly. It doesn’t mean that I won’t talk to him about what is important to me. Or that when I do talk to him, he turns a deaf ear.

Do I pray with anticipation that someday Taao will get to know Jesus a little better? Sure I do, just as I pray for other family members and people I love, people I barely know, hate mongers, and those misled by liars and false prophets. I pray for government leaders and foreign tyrants, too. I don’t think any of them are too far from God to feel His love.

But today those differences are on the back burner.

Today I just want to tell Taao, I’m so proud of you.


Just b/c we’re different doesn’t mean we can’t build strong relationships on love&respect. Click to tweet.






One comment

  1. Bless you, my dear daughter. Thank you for reminding me to pray for “more” of my family. It’s gotten so large I forget. I promise to try to do better. All my love (and prayers). Mom


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