Robert fixes watches. And rings. And I’m sure he does other jewelry as well but those where the two things I brought to him to fix. Which he was happy to do for me. Robert is a hard worker who takes great pride in his work. And it shows. Especially on the faces of the people who stopped by to pick up and drop off their rings and watches to his care.
This one time high school drop-out eventually got his GED, and got a couple of years of college under his belt. But that isn’t how he got to where he is today, a watchmaker and repair man. “School wasn’t my thing,” he said. After leaving high school, his father took him to do an apprenticeship with a watchmaker where he got his real education.
Robert eventually took another job, and learned the jewelry trade as well. His boss eventually sold the business to this young, Lebanese born Armenian. And from there, his life was set into motion. He no longer seemed ashamed by his choice to leave school, or feels like he’s living in the shadows of his brother’s and sisters who are all professionals in law and medicine.
It might be bold for me to say, but it seems to me the best part about Robert getting to this place in life, is that he gets to share it with the love of his life – a wife of ten years (event though they’ve known each other for 30). That’s another story for another time. But he wants the world to know that he “Falls in love with his wife 100 times more than I did the day before.”
Robert was super appreciative that I wanted to get to know him better. He lives and works in my neighborhood, and he too believes the world would be in a better place if we talked and listened to one another. “So many people only want to talk about themselves,” he said before wanting to know my story. I was happy to share the quick, “elevator pitch” of my life with him.
I have a feeling I will probably return to see Robert again. Not to just fix a broken watchband or to repair an old ring but to find ways to fix the brokenness in our world.
With each person I meet, I’m learning more and more about the people I share this sacred space called life. We are different that is for sure. But we all bleed and love the same. We share commonalities even though it might not seem like at first.
People like Robert help me to understand what life in community ought to be about. As we share our stories, our business, and our concerns or joys or fears…we begin to also share the responsibility to care for those around us in ways that add to our stories and our blessings.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”