Just a free write. Enjoy.
After work today, I found myself in the card aisle at our local grocery store, finding the sympathy section, or what was now called “Care and Concern”, or something to that effect. A childhood friend had texted me earlier today, telling me her chronically ill mother had passed away. Her mother, I knew, had a condition that affected her memories and mind. My friend told me her mother still remembered me at times, however, and had asked about me every so often. How this was possible, I’m not sure. But it really hit home with me that she had somehow preserved a memory of me in her illness. I hope it gave her some comfort.
I scanned the cards at the store, thinking about this and the time I had spent at their house, all the while holding my bag of lasagna noodles and French bread for making dinner tonight. I expected the cards to all be generic, with heartfelt messages like: “I’m sorry for the loss of your loved one” or “Our prayers are with you in this difficult time.” Nothing too personal, you know, nothing that says that awful, ill conceived phrase: “I understand.”
Let’s take a trip back to the early 1st century. It’s a few days before Passover and the Jews are heading to Jerusalem for the Feast. As they travel, they sing the songs of ascent like they do every year. On this particular year, though, there’s an extra level of excitement. A man named Yeshua […]
There are moments in life where we need to make quick decisions. These are forks in the roads with possible cliffs. Do I raise my voice and lose control to anger? Do I snap back and give a biting, scathing remark? Do I judge someone harshly walking by me? Do I fall back on legalism?
I’m reminded of a quote, one that I put in my book. This verse has stuck with me for a long time. I find it very uncanny:
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” -Jesus (Matthew 10:16)
“This is Reginald Swinebottom presents. Welcome to Day 15 of Blogmas 2018. Grab your mittens and let’s get crackin’!”
There’s quite a few lines from the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium that have stuck with me over the years. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it. The script doesn’t blanch at the realities of change and death. The characters frequently toss out clever lines and understand what it means to laugh and to struggle. It’s a simple plot, one that revolves around a magical toy store, but it’s powerful. I think I like the simple, magical stories the best.
One of the more poignant lines, one that is towards the end of the film, goes like this:
Molly: Are you dying?
Mr. Magorium: Light bulbs die, my sweet. I will depart.
My entry for KaylaAnAuthor’s Summer Poetry contest. Click here for details on how to join in and to check out the other entries.
Thanks for reading.
As an introvert (an INTJ to be exact), I find American society at once demanding, garrulous and worshipful of charming extroverts. This perception of the perfect American finds its way into churches, bleeds over the pews, stains the carpets and infiltrates the very verbiage and conversational rhythms. Modern churches exemplify this particularly with stage lighting, booming mic’s, catchy tunes and coffee bars. And suddenly church is about working and collecting merit badges at warp speed. If you have lots of energy, bright eyes and agreeable conversation–you’re in!
If not, you’re a problem.
There are gulpers and there are chippers in this world. I am a gulper. There are no stages, no stepping stones of graduated achievements with how I proceed. There is simply the goal and myself, whatever it may be. Everything between me and the goal must be overcome. And now, today, this very instant in fact! Definitely not tomorrow or a wishy-washy “sometime later, honey.” I will stay the course, finish strong, even if doctors and nurses hurry behind me with a crash cart and tranquilizer darts. Reality be darned!
All this I thought today during my first 10k, walking at a steady pace with my saintly husband* and tolerant Labrador. And then my Lab, during mile six, laid down in the middle of the road during a water break. She peered up at me and my so-called goals.
“Go ahead–try to move me, human,” my Labrador taunted me from the ground. “But you’re going to carry my 55lb butt back to the air conditioned car. And then I’m gonna pee all over your azaleas you just planted so lovingly…”
Sometimes I feel as if America has “signed on” Jesus at the White House to become their spokesman and undersigner–their “yes” man. This Jesus is Caucasian, always Conservative Republican, is allowed to have an “acceptable” beard, and goes around in sandals and a billowing white tunic, shaking hands with politicians while flashing a Crest sponsored smile. He hands out little medals to those who oppose abortion and easily excuses marital affairs, vulgarity and any covered up sex or child trafficking. He gives flowers to women wearing Gucci and busily writing out checks to avoid taxes at tax time. He kisses white babies and applauds business owners for forming jobs and trickling down a meager sustenance to the undeserving, wretched poor.
And then, if he has enough time in his daily itinerary, he hops onto a book signing by any number of white evangelicals in the blessed world of Christian Marketing and Business. He sits proudly behind the desk and recites pitches dutifully, saying “Yep, buy this book for $29.95. Don’t bother talking with me too much or accepting pain and trials–I sure don’t have the time when there are Senate seats to be won! American Christianity is pain free, pleasure filled with blessings upon blessings–but only if you buy this book and decide you’re worth it. Say, have you seen the latest Hallmark movie? They’re all white–just like me. White, blue eyed and blonde haired, mostly…Reminds me of growing up in the Middle East…”
Is it a wonder I feel disenchanted? It’s enough to make anyone gag on their Chick-Fil-A Coke…