Well, Sunday night, as I was relaxing at home and preparing for the week, I spoke to my mother. Before I knew it, I was on the road on a 7 hour road trip to Alexandria, MN. I left at 2 AM and through some miracle I was able to stay awake -- I didn't even get the least bit sleepy, and I was certainly surprised -- although grateful -- that Heavenly Father answered my prayer.
My brother needed help, and I was going to help him. Even when he called me at 5:30 am, and told me I didn't need to come, I still went. I had to do what I set out to do.
I didn't have much chance to talk to him, but I did help him that morning, and he seemed grateful that I was there, even though he told me I didn't need to come. After everything was taken care of, I went to spend the day with my Aunt and Uncle. I was releived now; knowing that any bad situation had been avoided, and my brother was on his way. I took the rest of the day to relax and talk to my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Mike. I always love going to see them, and although that wasn't the main purpose of my visit, it helped me immensely to calm down, breathe, and rest before I had to make the 7 hour trip back to Madison.
Well, it's October. Autumn is finally here. On my way home from Minnesota yesterday I enjoyed the gorgeous colors of the trees. Wisconsin is a wonderfully hilly state, with trees galore. The colors were vivid and seemed to sparkle in the sunlight. I only wish I had had my camera! But the colors, the crisp air, the smell of apple pie baking in the oven, or the aroma of a wood fireplace burning at night -- these are the things I love so much about this season. I love buttoning up a warm tweed jacket, slipping on my favorite boots, and feeling the cool wind reap havoc on my hair.
Laura and I went to the orchard on Saturday, and picked apples. There is just something about getting food right from it's source; it seems to taste all the richer and more natural. Sure, we could have gone to the grocery store to buy a dozen apples rather than drive 30 min each way to the orchard, but what fun is that? It's the experience that truly makes it special. That night I made Apple crisp and chimichangas for Tara, Laura and I. It was truly a delicious meal.
During my drive, I listened to Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. I had already listened to Ender's Game more than a year previous also on a trip to Minnesota. One of the most profound things I learned from this book, and felt to be true, was the underlying theme that Card purposely put there.
It is impossible to not love someone who you do your best to understand. Ok I'm not saying it as profoundly as Card's character, Ender, did, but one brilliant thing about Ender was that he truly loved humanity. He spoke the deaths of people -- and many were not good people. But because he was able to see the desires, needs, and wishes of those people, and the circumstances for why they did what they did, both good and evil, he was able to love even the seemingly vilest of them.
Ender had a talent to truly understand people. He saw each person for who they were. Now, in this book, Ender is not a Christian man (although ironically Orson Scott Card is a Mormon -- but he uses his gospel knowledge as the underlying theme without making his main character religious) but the way he is able to understand humanity, and other intelligent species, is as God saw them. He was truthful in his speakings, and he would say all of it -- the good and the bad -- of one's life. But he was able to speak with truth because he loved them. Without excusing one's behavior, he was still able to see the very circumstances of life that drove each of these people to do or think how they did. He was able to see the way that even the shortest of acquaintances in ones life made such a vast impact on that life. He was able to see the way that we are all connected, and despite how much we might believe that our actions don't have that great of an impact on others, Ender knows that this is not the case at all.
There is a reason why our lives are so intertwined with one another's. This very intertwining has caused great happiness -- and great destruction -- since the dawn of time. But, when one is willing to truly look upon another as God sees them -- to try to understand their motives, their reasonings -- to look past the evil or corruption (that yes, we all have) and to find out their desires, their dreams, and their longings, to learn about their soul, we no longer feel that hatred or distaste.
And we know that hatred is a tool of the devil. We also know that it stems from fear of the unknown. When someone does something that we can't begin to fathom, we are afraid. But if we take that time to try and understand him we will find a love that we didn't think could have ever existed.
The irony is that while Ender wasn't religious, he was closer to being like our Father in Heaven than many of the seemingly religious people upon the planet of Lucetania. Reading about him opened something in my heart; a sense of dejá vü -- and I knew that I did understand.