There once was a “Uni” named “Wendy,”
Whose horn glitzed in gold was so trendy.
She searched for her herd,
Where diversity is spurred—
Found the Fellowship varied aplenty!
Author & UUFP member Julian Padowicz marries his passion for writing with his zeal for sharing the UUFP story of embracing diversity.
Last month, Wendy learned that caring for one another is like ripples in the water, that is…that any gesture of kindness and love has the power to multiply in positive ways! As Wendy continues to experience being part of her beloved UUFP community, she hopes both adults and children will share her story about who we are and what we do as Unitarian Universalists and will offer a warm welcome to our Fellowship.
"A Pony's Lesson 0n Pardoning"
A day can be both sad and...well...a good day at the same time, pondered Wendy, the white unicorn with the golden horn growing out of her forehead, as she watched another couple leave the Patterson house and head home. The Patterson family were members of the same Unitarian Universalist congregation that she belonged to.
This day was sad because they had just buried poor Mrs. Patterson, who had died of COVID three days ago. It was also a good day because every family in the neighborhood and many of the families in the Unitarian Universalist congregation had stopped by the Patterson house to tell Mr. Patterson how sad they were at his wife's passing.
The only thing that didn't make sense was the fact that ten-year-old Brad Patterson was shooting baskets in the driveway, by himself, while five of his friends looked on from the porch of the Suttons' house across the street. What could Brad have said or done, Wendy wondered, that would keep his friends away from him at a time like this?
Wendy recognized one of Brad's five friends as being from the UU church, as well. His name was Paul, and Wendy made her way over to the porch, where the boys were sitting, to find out what had happened.
"Such a sad day, boys, isn't it," she said. They nodded their heads and expressed agreement with her. "So, why is Brad shooting baskets by himself?" she asked.
Wendy's question was met by silence from the five boys. She tried again, "How come Brad's best friends are looking on from across the street at a time like this?" she asked.
Still, nobody said anything.
"Did you all get into an argument with him?" Wendy asked.
"Not with him, Wendy," Paul finally said.
"And it wasn't exactly an argument," the boy in a blue baseball cap said. He had his elbows resting on his lap and his chin in his two hands.
"So, level with me, guys. What's going on?" Wendy asked.
"It's Brad’s father," the boy in the yellow sweatshirt said.
"Yeah, Mister Patterson," the boy with his chin in his hands added.
"What did Mr. Patterson say or do?"
"He said George couldn't play in his driveway," Paul explained.
"George?" Wendy asked.
Four heads nodded towards the boy who hadn't yet spoken. "Mr. Patterson made some insulting slurs about George’s race and country, linking both to the cause of his wife’s death from COVID, and therefore, did not want him playing in his driveway while his wife was being buried," the boy in the yellow sweatshirt said.
For the first time, Wendy realized that the boy, who hadn't yet spoken, was Chinese. "So, Mr. Patterson threw you out of his driveway because George was Chinese, and he believes COVID came from China," she concluded.
The boys all nodded their heads. "George had nothing to do with it," one of the boys said.
"Of course not," Wendy said. "But the man was upset, and when people are upset, they often say and do insensitive things in their anger. I'm sorry he hurt your feelings, George."
"So, you're saying it was all right for him to say that to George?" Paul said.
"No, it isn't all right, and Mr. Patterson owes you all an apology. But the man just lost his wife, so this is a time when you guys need to be the bigger men. Understand that it's his grief talking and cut him some slack."
"Cut him some slack? " two of the boys repeated.
"Don't be surprised if you don't get that apology but do forgive the man. He was wrong to say it. As you said, George had nothing to do with his wife getting sick, but he's in a lot of pain. He just lost his wife. It was his pain talking. People can do silly, uncaring, even angry things when they're in pain. Often, though, that behavior causes more pain. You boys did the right thing by backing off and not talking back."
"My mother yelled at me when her vacuum hiccupped and blew dirt all over the living room last week," George said. "But then, she told me she was sorry."
"Mr. Patterson needs to tell you that he's sorry, too," Paul said to George.
"He does," Wendy agreed, "but don't be surprised if he's too embarrassed to do it. It takes a pretty big person to admit to being wrong. It isn't an easy thing to do."
That evening, after the visitors had all gone home, Brad's father asked him for his Chinese friend's last name. Two days later, George received a card from Mr. Patterson, asking forgiveness for his "terribly rude outburst" and thanking him for being Brad's friend "at a very painful time."
The New Year! Wendy learns that giving and receiving forgiveness helps us begin anew, as we continue to strive to be our best selves!
LET’S SEE WHERE OUR GALLOPING “UU-NI” GOES NEXT MONTH!
(Check out all the "Wendy the Unicorn" stories featured in the UUFP eFlame Blog under "Sharing Our Stories.")