Itís interesting the things that become important and or have meaning to us. Being important and having meaning can be the same, but can also be not the same.

Fifteen years ago my best friend gave me a shirt for my birthday. It was a dark green tie-dyed sort of background with three Peace Pipes arranged to make a peace sign and encircled in a hoop by eagle feathers and smoke. At first I wasnít so fond of it because I donít like even the intimation of mocking what I respect and because I just didnít like it all that much. When I, long after he had given it to me, mentioned to Mark that the pipes made a peace sign he said he hadnít even noticed they were pipes at all that he just liked the shirt and thought I would too.

He was just being thoughtful, I am difficult to buy for, and nice. From that time on it was one of my favourites. Now it is worn, the collar coming apart, holes starting to appear from wear, the underarm repaired a few times, the sleeves no longer able to be rolled twice as is my custom with short sleeved shirts. On a normal shirt once it tore it would have been a rag. It was a gift from a friend whose meaning had escaped me in my vanity. I hope I told him so, but I just donít remember. It was just a shirt and just so much more. Heh.

Elijah is much more concerned with his appearance than I ever was. Not to the point of only wearing brand names or what is popular, he enjoyed, where I never did, looking good and wearing clothes that he felt enhanced what he liked. He has been buying his own clothes since he was very young. Itís not like he never wore jeans and a tee, he did. But, and there is nothing wrong with this in my book, he liked to look good. Not the primping pompous outwardly pretty but inwardly vacuous looking good so heavily promoted as what a man must be to be a man in our society of plastic paint and paste, just a nicely dressed well groomed young man. Youíd never know we were related if you saw us side by side.

He lived in a frat while attending college. He was well respected and well liked there. He is a smart, and much more important, caring young man. Shortly before he was done living there one of his frat brothers came up to him, not necessarily for advice, though in my pride and my own intuition I suspect this may have been the other young manís intention, and asked how he looked because he had a job interview. He was freshly shaven, the other young man, his clothes neat and clean, worn but serviceable, except for his shoes. Now youíd think any frat boy could afford shoes no problem. And for many this is the case. But not all. Some are not very well off and some are downright poor. This young manís shoes were not up to par. They were old and worn. Clean and buffed, but far from even newish. The only flaw on a very good effort.

Now Elijah could have just let the other young man go on his merry way with never a second thought to the outcome of his interview for his much needed job. Who could blame him for such? They were not related, they were not close personal friends, though the bond of brotherhood was there because of the frat they both belonged to. Just as the young man was about to leave Elijah told him to hold on a second, that he had something for him. The young man waited the few seconds it took Elijah to go to his closet and get a pair of his older, but in much better condition than those currently on the feet of the hopefully soon to be employed young man, dress shoes. He gave them to the young man, no strings, no expectations, no thought other than he had more than enough and this other person had less than enough. A gift to the Grace and this young man from nothing but the desire to be helpful.

My best friend gave me a gift. Elijah gave that young man a gift. Neither was much of anything, neither given with any want, need or even thought of getting something back. Both were much more than nothing.

Much more than nothing is not a bad thing to be.