Red Thread of Fate
There is an ancient Chinese myth about the red thread of fate. The legend states that an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. I have come to believe that each and every person I come in contact with was placed there with purpose and it is up to me to determine why. Although time goes on and faces fade, certain individuals—most of them strangers—will be instilled in my heart forever.
Deep brown eyes. Chocolate skin. Cheshire cat grin. The ICU nurse opened the giant glass doors to a girl roughly three years of age standing in her crib. She began to jump up and down with relief as I impeded her hours of solitary confinement in the hospital. I grabbed a gown, a pair of gloves, and meticulously washed my hands before proceeding over to her bedside. Dora the Explorer played on the television and as the theme song started to play, the little girl’s voice echoed down the hall. We both danced and sang—carefree from the contagious disease defining her life. Emotion: happiness.
Six pack. Baggy jeans. Dripping sweat. I handed him a 10-foot piece of smoldered wood, crumbling in my hands from the recent fire. We loaded it into our church’s dump truck parked at the curb and discussed the results of yesterday’s baseball game. But his sports knowledge and striking laugh didn’t last for long. He told me of the bloodcurdling nights in the neighborhood when gunshots encapsulated the darkness—taking the lives of friends and family members. Despite the tragedy, he dedicated his life to restoring the streets of Detroit. Attribute: Strength.
Leather jacket. Messy hair. Combat boots. He is prejudged by his employers, family members, and complete strangers as a piece of white trash. Each day, he orders a large salted caramel frappe. I start the espresso machine and we pick up our conversation where we left off last night. Most evenings, he talks about God, and how the Holy Spirit guided him throughout the day. I listen. He is not perfect and has made far too many mistakes. But he believes. Virtue: faith.
Happiness, strength, and faith—three traits that I value and will get me through countless obstacles. A beaming smile, a helping hand, or even a cup of coffee reminds me of how I was touched, and in return, I reciprocate them to whoever comes my way.
Each person is a part of an intricate web, weaved and fashioned with care. The red thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break. Now, in my four years of college I will never come in contact with these people again, but their stories have forever changed my life.