Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A man named Brett Bush

I was eighteen, out of high school having graduated six months early, and doing nothing much but working and hanging out. Riding horse.

(That confession rendered another hilarious Hubby-Rachel moment. A few weeks ago I said, "Yeah, I graduated, hung out, worked a lot, rode horses." "You rode horses." He arched one brow because he has that talent. "Yeah, couple of days a week." "Really? Cause I've ridden horses with you and--" "Oh stop." But I laughed!)

During those months, I worked at Publix and hung around with some fun north Florida rednecks. I met a guy named Brett Bush. He drove one of those itty-bitty Chevy Love trucks. Remember those? He'd been out of town for awhile, doing who-knows-what and where, but came home to find his girlfriend had moved on.

So, in effort to do the same, he asked me out. Okay. Not my type, but he was fun. He wanted to take me to his grandparents farm in Quincy or some place, so we're tooling along in his truck and he rants about his last encounter with his ex.

"So, I walk in and she say's nothing. Not so much as a by-your-leave or kiss my a$$."

His expression, inflection, hillbilly accent, phrasing had me laughing all the way to the farm. Then he decided to four-wheel it through a pond (no, Chevy Love trucks were not four wheel) and we sank, but that's another story.

Here's the thing about Brett Bush. Nearly 30 years after this afternoon together, and it was only an afternoon sans romantic feelings, his expressions show up in my writing.

I write, "without so much as" in each book. When I do, I think of Brett Bush.

A moment in my life, forever impressed on my soul.

How many people do we have like this touching us? Why do I remember a man's name I spent less than a few months socializing with, but can't remember a chum from college?

It's those impressions. Who have you and I impressed unaware? Is someone quoting me right now. Or reminiscing about Ohio State with, "Then Rachel Hayes said..."

We're paint brushes on the hearts and minds of everyone we come in contact with. Are we painting beauty or pain?

I want to be a Brett Bush to others. Lingering with them long after I've pass through their lives, leaving behind the fragrance of Jesus and the hope of His calling. If I reach some moderate success, I've honored Him who my soul loves.


Sharon Hayes said...

What a great memory and I love how you used it for yourself leaving a touch of Jesus on those you have passed. I hope I have left a few of those touches along my way too..

Lisa said...

There's a line like that in White Christmas. When Bing Crosby disses the girl she says something similar.
Good thoughts. A visiting pastor recently spoke about how important the picture we see of ourselves is. If our picture is cracked, faded, in need of repair, we tend to project that onto others. Getting into God's word repaints that picture into what He see in us. It was a great analogy.
As I go back to school and become the first teacher for a group of 4 and 5 year olds, I know how weighty a thing it is that I could be one of those people in a moment who paints on their hearts for a lifetime. I hope that made sense. I am beyond tired!!

Rachel Hauck said...

Mom, trust me, you've left many wonderful impressions on people's lives! I witnessed it myself!

And Lisa, yes, what you wrote makes sense. A teach of all people has such a great opportunity to touch so many!

And yes, getting into the Word and BELIEVING what it says about God and His affection for us repaints how we see ourselves. Great thoughts!


Lynette Sowell said...

This is why little things do mean a lot. :) Funny how memory works, too. I lost a good friend this summer...hadn't seen her in years, but as soon as I heard the news, a hundred little long-forgotten things came flooding back. :) And great thoughts, too, Lisa. Working on getting my picture repainted. :)