DREAMS

MIKE AIKEN

”Thus says God, the one who makes a path in the sea, a path through the raging water, who brings down chariot and horse, army and soldier (they lie down, they cannot get up, they are snuffed out, put out like a wick)—

“Remember not earlier events. Do not dwell on the past. Indeed, I am doing a new thing. It is springing up right now; do you not see it coming? I will make a path through the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43: 18-19)

When Eugene smiles his whole face lights up. He cocks his head to one side gives a bit of a shrug. His energy radiates a passion for life that defies his circumstances. On most nights, a stop to chat with Eugene is welcome.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Eugene is a quadriplegic. A few short years ago, his smile needed to be coaxed from the shadows of his despair.

Apparently on the verge of the good life, with his wife graduating from university, Eugene’s hopes were dashed when she left him and took his children with her. In the depths of despair, he even tried to take his own life.

Today, his outlook is entirely different. His strong faith has helped him through the shadows to the light, and his face radiates with renewed hope and energy.

His faces lights up as he talks of a trip to visit his new wife in his homeland of Eastern Europe. In many ways, Eugene’s dream of reuniting with his wife is outlandish, simply because of the sheer number of obstacles he would have to overcome, in order to make it a reality.

He will have to find the money. He will have to go through immigration. He will have to keep the dream of a new life alive by long-distance, through many phone calls and letters.

Already, though, he has managed to find an attendant to accompany him for a visit to his wife last month. He has also found a way to meet with her and travel, once he arrived.

There are as many stories of dreams built and destroyed, loves won and lost. And there are probably many more bogus tales of dubious accomplishments; however Eugene’s dream may just have the strength it takes to become a reality.