From Donald Miller’s A Million Miles

This is part of a story in A Million Miles In A Thousand Years.  Donald Miller is talking about his friend Jason saving his family.  Jason heard something Donald said about Jason’s daughter living a terrible story and decided to write a different story as a family.  He called a family meeting and told his wife and daughter that they were going to help build an orphanage.  Jason’s family looked at him like he lost his mind and sat at the table in silence until Jason thought the same.

“I actually think you might have lost your mind,” I said, feeling somewhat responsible.

“Well, maybe so,” Jason said, looking away for a second with a smile.  “But it’s working out.  I mean things are getting pretty good, Don.”

Jason went on to explain that his wife and daughter went back to their separate rooms and neither of them talked to him.  His wife was rightly upset that he hadn’t mentioned anything to her.  But that night while they were lying in bed, he explained the whole story thing, about how they weren’t taking risks and weren’t helping anybody and how their daughter was losing interest.

“The next day,” he said, “Annie came to me while I was doing the dishes.”  He collected his words.  “Things had just been tense for the last year, Don.  I haven’t told you everything.  But my wife came to me and put her arms around me and leaned her face into the back of my neck and told me she was proud of me.”

“You’re kidding,” I said.

“I’m not,” my friend said.  “Don, I hadn’t heard Annie say anything like that in years.  I told her I was sorry I didn’t talk to her about it, that I just got excited.  She said she forgave me but that it didn’t matter.  She said we had an orphanage to build, and that we were probably going to make bigger mistakes, but we would build it.”  My friend smiled as he remembered his wife’s words.

“And then Rachel came into our bedroom, maybe a few days later, and asked if we could go to Mexico.  Annie and I just sort of looked at her and didn’t know what to say.  So then Rachel crawled between us in the bed like she did when she was little.  She said she could talk about the orphanage on her web site and maybe people could help.  She could post pictures.  She wanted to go to Mexico to meet the kids and take pictures for her Web site.”

“That’s incredible,” I said.

“You know what else, man?” Jason said.  “She broke up with her boyfriend last week.  She had his picture on her dresser and took it down and told me he said she was too fat.  Can you believe that?  What a jerk.”

“A jerk,” I agreed.

“But that’s done now,” Jason said, shaking his head.  “No girl who plays the role of a hero dates a guy who uses her.  She knows who she is.  She just forgot for a little while.”

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