Rare Indeed

Someone I know was recently invited to a meeting with biblical archeologists and those who study artifacts.  He learned of a process by which they are discovering new and ancient fragments from both the Old and New Testament written in Greek that are preliminarily dating as the earliest ever found.  He got to touch these pieces of papyrus with his own hands and watch the experts as they did their work.  He came back from this meeting so excited because he learned there are vaults of similar documents that have yet to be catalogued.  It is such a labor intensive process it will take decades to go through everything they currently have properly.  Imagine rooms and rooms of ancient, precious artifacts that will uncover truths about the Bible, history, and our world.  When I think about those dusty rooms I think of the value of that room and what’s in it.  How amazing.  That is the stuff of life because it reveals things we didn’t know.  Even one such artifact sitting right now on a shelf untouched, if examined can lead to new levels of understanding.

Some artifacts will reveal nothing.  They will not be the book of Isaiah, or the Gospel of Matthew.  They will not be The Odyssey or The Iliad.  Not treasures.  But SOME will be.  And that’s exciting to me.

It’s exciting when you happen across something that seems so common as a piece of paper and then it turns out to be momentously uncommon.

I truly didn’t know what I was getting into when I asked Harry if he would mind shooting some pool with me sometime after months of chatting online.

Aside from the fact that I love the guy…Harry is an amazing and interesting person to know.  Getting to know him well will take decades.  And I’m there…yes, I’m there.  Decades it is.

If all you saw was a picture or a glimpse, you’d think…bad ass kind of trash talking guy who could throw back some booze, spank some women, and hit some guys…hard.  You’d think biker dude who hangs out in bars.  That’s what I thought.  He’s 6’1″ weighs nearly 300 lbs, is bald and likes to scowl.  No tattoos thankfully.  Everything else is there.  But when I visited him at his office the first thing he showed me was a 19th century leather-bound book on Common Prayer and mementos he kept from trips around the world and his Letterman’s jacket from high school.

He grew up working for his dad in the construction business and was ridiculed at times for his love of books.  He once moved his bed out of his room so he could fit in more bookshelves.  He told me the other day he bought a book that taught him how to be a butler and practiced the craft on his parents when he was a kid.  At one time his nickname was Frasier because he loved to listen to people’s problems and was perhaps a little too refined for his own good.

He worked himself through college as a history major and fell into his career because he did the books for his dad’s company.  He owns his own accounting software company and is currently selling software he wrote.  Fascinating.

This is the same kid who won the state championship in wrestling after taking a city bus alone to the event.  He calls himself an island and a rock after the Simon and Garfunkel song.  He has this keen sense of awareness to his aloneness and yet he is one of the most generous people I have ever met.  He wants to belong.

He has researched his genealogy so extensively he can talk for hours about it, telling story after story.  He wants a clan.  He wants to do good.  He wants to accomplish.

I had a friend growing up who loved to dream big.  Practically each time I saw him he had a new project he was working on that would make him millions.  There was always a lot of hype and excitement and then nothing.  On to the next thing… but why?  Was it cause all those things he tried were lame ideas to begin with?  Some of them were to be honest but I don’t think that’s it.  I think he just had a short attention span and liked the idea on the surface but once it seemed like it was going to require a little more work than he’d anticipated it was dropped for the next idea.

But this man named Harry is not that kind of guy.  He sees things through.  He cherishes memories, and history, and understands that something worth anything is worth working for.  And he works hard.

Seven days a week right now trying to get the software business off the ground that he funded with his own money.  He has everything to lose and a lot to gain…he understands goals.  Which is admirable but at the same time they have been rather empty pursuits.  All of this knowledge, and motivation funneled at a goal but for what?  To make money and to be able to rest, relax, and enjoy life….but alone.

This is where I entered into the picture.  Not sure how or why, but with all that going on, he finds time to talk to me and tell me he wants to grow old with me.  He makes time to listen to me and marvel at how willing he is to fall for me…

The one thing Harry guards well, is his heart.  And he is letting me in…

For me getting to know Harry is like seeing a rare artifact that is hidden by dust, dirt, and decay.  But underneath is beautiful and precious.  I see the heart of a little boy who wants to please his parents.  I see the heart of a teenager with raging hormones who just wants to be loved with wild abandon.  I see the heart of a scholar who wants to learn as much as he can about everything.  I see the heart of leader who uses his resources to build.  All of these precious sides to him.  But he is letting me see the heart of the man who wants that faithful, loving companion, who will love him for years with genuine affection and admiration.

Harry is not an infomercial or one of those seminars you go to so you can get a free hotel stay somewhere about timeshares.  He is not something that gets bought because of a flashy ad campaign or cool packaging.  He is valuable.  He has worth.

And this girl is gonna stick around to discover the depths of this guy.  I have no choice.  Opportunities like this are rare indeed.

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