More in the “diary” vein of blogging.
We don’t have a tv. Consequently, my step-son doesn’t watch movies or tv on the regular. Every once in a while I show him something on the laptop. Last night was Sandlot. He noticed this one as I searched for Goonies the last time, and so I figured it’s a good wholesome film and it might even set him up with the desire to attempt some baseball in the coming season. It’s also uncannily about a boy moving in with a step-dad (who won’t let him touch his stuff) and being new to the neighborhood–all true-to-life circumstances for A-.
Let’s play baseball again. This post serves as my call for MLB to return to the field. Despite not being the most fanatic fan, I still cannot imagine an American summer without America’s past-time. Sooooo, instead of canceling summer, let’s cancel panic and play ball. I’ll be there the minute the gates open.
Second, and I hid this point on purpose, we need to talk about what panicking is. Actually I can’t. I shouldn’t. I want to, but I won’t.
Suffice it to say, I’ve instructed my family to not buy a toilet paper pack bigger than 18 rolls the next time we find any. 18 is the size we’re currently on, having purchased it back in February sometime before any of the hysteria. So that’s why. But from now on, if the choice is 18+ pack vs. 4-pack, then we get the 4-pack. Someone has to set the example.
What are we going to do without toilet paper? After a quick internet search, I’ve come to resolution. Cloth rags and a diaper genie. And probably a lot less fast food.
You all are going to have to live with the fact that you panicked. I’m going to have some extra laundry.
But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to claim that I encouraged others to end the hysteria.
The last time I visited a doctor my recent seminary studies entered the chat and the man subsequently commented, “Didn’t I read that they found his bones?”
That covers why I won’t be trusting doctors’ non-medical opinions.
Difficult times reveal character. They don’t create it. They don’t foster it. They simply provide an uncommon stage in a theater with better lighting.
In this post I intend to write something I’ll be proud of having written when I circle-back to it in the future. I’m not trying to say something wise. I’m not trying to calm anyone. I’m not trying to predict anything.
The train has left the station. There is no future point which will be accurately called the turning point. But the train didn’t leave the station recently, it left the station years ago. When we received the breath of life, the train began its one way trip.
Okay. I admit it. I’m angry. I’m angry because of what I’ve read from the doctors. One published his letter to his family. Another actually claimed “the sky is falling.”
Rather than the doctors admitting that their professional expertise does not extend beyond certain boundaries, they are now answering the general public’s cries for help—despite knowing that they’re out of their element. A doctor knows how to help our acute problems—most of the time. They do not know how to oversee the inhabitants of the earth.
Doctors are not elected. They are not appointed by god. These are facts.
I’ve spent a great portion of my waking hours discussing Jesus with folks. Never, not once, have I heard someone say, “You know what? I think I want in. How do I get eternal life?” That doesn’t bother me or cause me to doubt the value of that task. And I’m talking eternal life.
Doctors are screaming that we’re all going to die—BIG NEWS!—and they’re dismayed that no one listens? Join the club buddy. The back of the line is right over there.
In three years of Seminary coursework, I never did find myself tasked with the Old Testament book of Judges much. Helping edit a friend’s chapter-a-day devotional emails, I recently have been prompted to read it. And I’ve not been disappointed. It’s like Braveheart, Gladiator, and 300 all rolled into one.
This post is my volley into the C-O-V-I-D-1-9 written commentary foray. Setting the scene a bit, I’d say it’s probably best to picture a large post-NFL game parking lot brawl (or better yet maybe COSTCO at the toilet paper aisle) and some mesomorph man annoyingly jumping in only for cheap shots and then hopping right back out again before some seasoned ignoramus can counter-attack.
Early in the book of Judges, an account begins which involves the rare-to-scripture female protagonist. This Deborah is a prophetess who encourages the military leader, Barak, to fight a war. She then warns him, or advises him, however, that the honor (consequent to winning) will be given to a woman. Skipping ahead in the story, we learn that the defeated, fleeing king, Sisera, thinks he has found safe keeping in the house of a friend–having accepted the invitation of the friend’s wife. Picking up the story there, the Bible records, “But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, ‘Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.’ And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple.”
That’s all interesting, fine, and dandy (reminded me of the antler-to-the-neck in Braveheart). But it’s just the setup. What I want us to focus on is Deborah’s (and Barak’s) celebratory song–or the last part at least. It goes:
Out of the window she looked and lamented,
The mother of Sisera through the lattice,
‘Why does his chariot delay in coming?
Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?’
Her wise princesses would answer her,
Indeed she repeats her words to herself,
‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil?
A maiden, two maidens for every warrior;
To Sisera a spoil of dyed work,
A spoil of dyed work embroidered,
Dyed work of double embroidery on the neck of the spoiler?’
Mockery. Blatant, pure, and chilling mockery. Deborah goes two levels deep in her scoff. She doesn’t just mock the dead Sisera’s mother, but adds the consolation that she can imagine the “wise princesses” offering. Cold-blooded stuff.
Which brings us full-circle to the hysteria. Here’s our victory song:
You thought government was god of the universe–God in the flesh.
You thought the government could solve all problems.
You bet hearth and home on the government.
And now you’re buying *extra* toilet paper.
You don’t even know why!
And you have to explain it to your kids.
The look on your kids’ faces is judgement from your maker. They know you’re unhinged. They can’t do math. They can’t read. They wouldn’t know what critical thinking was if it hit them square in the jaw. But they know what too much toilet paper looks like.
H- said, wide-eyed and earnest, “I hope they buy some plungers too–if they’re going to be flushing all that down the pipes.”
This is more for so-called Church leaders than lay-folk, but feel free to engage it in either case.
At the seminary, I learned about high-brow, denominational Christianity’s generally negative view of “seeker friendly” churches. (For the uninitiated, this “seeker friendly” designation means “churches folks enjoy going to”.)
There was a feeling of, “‘seeker friendly’ is fine, and it has a place. But after conversion, the new believer will find themselves desiring something more than easy-to-repeat and easy-to-digest platitudes, encouragements, and affirmations.” Then, the thinking continues, at that moment, the mainstream denominations (the “churches folks attend begrudgingly Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday, painfully bad sermon after painfully bad sermon, while always stubbornly ignoring all signs that something is amiss if everyone keeps leaving”) will step in and save the day.
Subsequently, curiosity grew and I began going to “seeker friendly” churches, too. I have been back and forth between the two ever since.
Here’s an observation that I didn’t expect. Week after week, the “seeker friendly” churches say something like, “I grew up, like you, at a (insert mainstream denomination) church.” The leader will then add some personal anecdote about how “…only later did I realize the full freedom allowed by the Holy Spirit to break from tradition, conservatism, etc.” And in so doing, the “seeker friendly” leader, will have made his or her appeal to those who are seeking to go “deeper” or seeking greater “meaning.”
In other words, no different than the stoic, wise, and time-tested denominations, the “seeker friendly” churches were hocking that they are the place to find real, deep meaning. “The denomination gets you started, but ultimately fails to satisfy,” they say.
For this reason, because you’re both suggesting you’re the place to “go deep,” I confidently say, “You’re both wrong.”
I’ll add this. Two thousand years ago Paul wrote, in a letter to one particular church of his day, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.”
Here, we have some options.
We can say, A: “Paul was talking only to that particular body of believers alive some two thousand years ago which was manifesting itself as ‘fleshly’ as opposed to ‘spiritual’ and his words have nothing to do with me.”
Or we can say, B: “Paul was talking only to believers who manifest themselves as ‘fleshly’ as opposed to ‘spiritual’, no matter what era they live in, including contemporary believers,”
Or we can say, C: “Paul’s admonishment, unbeknownst to him, was to all believers. (Period).”
(There might be other options too.)
I choose C.
I choose C for the following reasons.
1. It’s not A, because I wouldn’t have heard of the Gospel, Paul’s letter, or the Bible if Paul was only talking to his immediate audience. (There should be no surprise here. This is kinda inherent to a Bible-believing Christian’s view of Scripture.)
2. It’s not B, because there exists in all of us a shameful little thing called “pride”. The moment I believe that “I made it” (in this case, ‘I’m spiritual’), I, again, lost the battle.
3. It’s far more exciting and interesting to live a life which never summits. And, it’s a nearly impossible mental gymnastic to defend spiritual maturity, and simultaneously maintain that the Christian’s satisfaction and fulfillment is only found in actual (neoconcrete?) life with Jesus–after whichever happens first, the Second Coming or death.
In short, if you’re a Christian leader, please return the “I’ve got a secret” tactic to the get-rich-quick, make-friends-easily, persuade-people-now motivational guru’s you stole it from and pass the milk.
A co-worker of mine recently told me that her dad, in his eighties, still parries attacks when people find out he and his wife had 14 biological children. For crying out loud, leave the man alone!
That said, my first comment is that I have collected positive proof that homeschooling is counter-culture. Ergo, if you’re not strong, don’t do it.
In my case, it’s necessary because the boy, my 9 year old step-son, has essentially never been taught. I won’t list the things that he doesn’t know, but I will give you the punch-line. He has never, not once, been taught to think. When I first met him, I was fooled into thinking his laugh was genuine and displayed some amount of discernment. Since he moved in, I have come to the opposite conclusion. His laugh is only, and sadly, a defense mechanism. Somehow “pity” was the overwhelming view taken by the adults in his life. It’s a shame. At 9, he operates at a level that is usually reserved for infants. Consequently, and among afore-posted reasons, I won’t send him into the public school forum with the rest of your kids just so that he can come out “feeling” like he’s really doing it (living as a free man).
Regarding homeschooling, then, here’s a succinct “A day in the life.” (And if you earnestly want any info on the curriculum I use etc., then please email me. I didn’t invent the wheel here.)
After breakfast he does one lesson of Saxon Math, by himself. Well, almost by himself. He is the most undisciplined little fella I’ve ever come across, so I sit and time him on his “math facts” which is always part of Saxon’s “Warm-up”. Then, I stay with him a bit longer because he was missing the “patterns” or “problem solving” Warm-up word problem every day. It’s fascinating to daily observe his inability to recognize a pattern.
Despite never answering one correctly on the first try, every day–every day–he asserts that the word problem is simple. Then he totally misses the entire point of it. My function is merely as a broken record which sings, “Read it again,” until he begins to see that words mean what they mean, and not what he wants them to mean. Every. Single. Day.
Then he moves on to the lesson.
Whether he spends all day or only the one hour I expect it to take, he has to complete the lesson. And he does. Then he shows me the work, and I tell him he can go get the solution book and grade his work, fixing any errant answers along the way.
Next, the goal is for him to write a one-page essay, which I subsequently would edit for spelling/grammar. His English isn’t quite up to this task yet, so I have him copy two-pages worth of material out of something that I think is interesting or something he asked about or displayed uncommon ignorance about the day before. As you’ll see below, this is going well, and I’m planning to set him free this summer.
Lastly, he “free reads” for either the remainder of the five hour block which began that morning, or a minimum of two hours. In other words, if he drags his feet all day on math and writing, he still has two hours of reading. I have a “library” and he can read anything out of the library (as many times as he wants) , or his Bible, for the allotted time.
Because he is so behind, I also have him do one block game/activity thing every day, too. (Equilibrio.) I intended this to be a more-than-literal building block activity which slowly worked him up to the more mentally challenging and age-appropriate Architecto, but as fate would have it, this kindergarten level game has proven to reveal (and remedy) the boy’s terribly low self-esteem. In about 20 days we have gone from 1. A 9 year old throwing blocks across the table, 2. Crying, and 3. Responding to my inquiry, “Who, exactly, is preventing the successful completion of the task?” with, “The devil!” all the way to One Million: “Hey, Mr. Pete! Here’s tomorrow’s. Look. It’s easy. All you have to do is…” as he accurately describes a winning strategy.
Now for one humorous, self-effacing anecdote. The other day, A- told me about the time where he and H- and all of us where at an outlet mall and he saw a sign for “chocolate juice.”
I responded, “A-. They don’t make chocolate juice. It probably was for some kind of shake or something. What do you think? There is some kind of chocolate fruit? Like an orange? Which they squeeze juice out of?” (Wait for it.) I continued, “You know what? That’d be a good thing to look up in The Book of Knowledge today.” (This is in my Library. It is from the 50s, but it is a Children’s Encyclopedia that is absolutely wonderful for a child.)
A- opted out of the idea, more out of defiance than anything, and so days went by before he finally asked if he can write some of the entry on chocolate for his daily writing.
Next, I had him read what he wrote, both to highlight his copying prowess/weakness and to practice reading aloud. Together we heard the opening sentence, “Coffee is not the only one of our favorite beverages that comes from the warm tropical lands: cocoa, or chocolate, is another, and it was given to the Old World by the New.”
That was so odd to me that I essentially ignored it.
But I couldn’t ignore the words of one paragraph later which read, “Chocolate soon became a favorite drink in Europe…”
Please take a moment to really hear A-‘s relentless laughter. As if I didn’t have feelings!
If you listened closely, though, you could hear growth. And if you listened even closer, you could hear a fire being ignited.
You see, “Mr. Pete” was categorically shamed by his own method. And yet, A- has to admit into his reality (or his “felt experience” for those of you #trending) that the shamed “Mr. Pete” lives to fight another day. Previously, A- seems to have thought failure was forever and to be avoided at all costs–even if it meant abstaining. Now he is aware of something else. And this makes him a bit uncomfortable, a bit wobbly, and, most important, a bit curious.
In short, I couldn’t be more pleased with home school.
“Now you wan’ ta’ get nuts?! Come on, let’s get nuts!”
You probably missed it, because the speaker was *shh* a Catholic, but the Pope just said, “We are no longer under a Christian regime because faith – especially in Europe, but also in large parts of the West – is no longer an obvious prerequisite of common life, and on the contrary, often it is even rejected, mocked, marginalized and ridiculed.”
As you know, the Bible writer’s believed you’d be persecuted for your faith in Jesus. But that’s not what the Pope was talking about here. No, he was talking about the world-over response of folks to people who say something that means nothing. Most recently, one example I believe he is talking about is Evangelicals’ political pronouncement: “God uses imperfect people.”
Evangelicals love to hide behind this statement. You seem to believe it is meaningfully a “mic drop of mic drops” with which to naturally conclude your squirming, vacillating defense of your loyalty to the idea that President Trump was a good choice.
But all the world over, if it has the time to spend on your ideas, only laughs at you. They reject you. They mock you. They marginalize you. And they ridicule you. And, in this case (among others), they are absolutely right to do so.
Saying, “God uses imperfect people” is the same as saying, “legless reptiles are snakes” or “large bodies of water are oceans” in response to, “I think it’s poisonous,” and, “Looks wet to me.”
You haven’t defended anything. That’s why so many folks think you’re irrelevant.
Defend Trump, I say. Defend him. Defend your choice. Defend your savior. Defend your vote. Defend your mind. Defend, defend, defend. That’s where you make your money. So do it.
Or maybe you don’t know how.
So just how does a pilot, a combat veteran, hero extraordinaire to boot, (and a good smile) motivate himself in these troubled times of doom and gloom? I’ll tell ya.
Firstly, I have an unshakable hope and belief that “good will overcome”. While I must have received this hope from some influential adults as a child, I cannot pin down exactly when or where or who those noble folks were. I’d love to share that I could easily note that they were all Christians, but as you know, the situation is always complicated when it comes to these things. (And, truth be told, for whatever reason, some of the very people I’m trying to cheer up with this post are Christians who see the end of America and subsequently the end of the whole shebang looming on the horizon.) Either way, I’m happy the LORD put these torch-bearers in my life.
Secondly, I motivate myself by doing my best to recognize the problem accurately. This motivates me because once we identify the problem, solutions appear out of nowhere.
There is a problem, make no mistake. But you all are misidentifying it and, more than that, you’re letting others misidentify it for you. You should try to recognize the problem for your own self. It’s quite a ride. But don’t take my word for it. Read on.
The problem is not Trump. The problem is not the Democrats. The problem is not the Squad. The problem is not Islam. The problem is not the climate.
The problem is that we Americans don’t know what to do with our power. In other words, we’re leaderless. We have been for a long time. We’re just going through the motions, hoping no one will bother us.
Additionally, we can still recall what it took to get the power. We can still remember not having the power.
Put another way, I’m talking about the difference between fighting for the top of the mountain, and living atop the mountain.
To be clear, we did marvelous fighting–and for all the right reasons. But now we’re in some sort of bizarre mental depression. I see future historians describing the Great Depression as having two distinct time periods. The first was financial. The second, the longer one, was of the collective mind. That’s where I want to help you. I want to swoop in and fly you out of the depression.
This particular Sunday it occurred to me that I feel (whether accurately or inaccurately) that I fear another nation/tribe/group developing weapons, strategies etc. that could be used to defeat us. IE, bigger bombs, better economies and economic theories, better religions etc. But when I take a Sunday morning to survey the passing scene, I find this to not be indicated anywhere. Instead, I keep seeing 9/11.
I see men, from meaningfully another world, (to say “another planet” would only be slightly misleading, so “another world” must suffice) using our planes against us. I see men using our planes against us. I see “men” using “our” against “us”.
So solution-wise, we’ve hit pay-dirt. Can you feel it? We now know a great deal. We know that a bigger bomb doesn’t defeat or solve “our”. Neither does better engineering defeat “our”. A robust economy doesn’t defeat “our”. A hopeful outlook doesn’t defeat “our”. Even wishful thinking doesn’t defeat “our”.
Good. We’re making progress. We know now that there is no reason to lose hope, that there is every reason to keep excelling–in everything.
Okay. “Our.” What else do we have?
So these aliens snuck one in on us. Minor loss. One battle, not the war. But the way they did it reveals the war. The war is over the Way. It’s not over land. It’s not over oil. It’s not over past sins. It’s not over present sins.
Our enemies are people whose planes we could never use to fly into their buildings–not because of their more diligent TSA equivalents, but because they haven’t invented any planes. Our enemies are people whose books we can’t read–not because they haven’t been translated, but because they haven’t been written. Our enemies are people whose greatest weapon is their neighbor’s 72 year old repeating rifle.
Why haven’t they invented or written?
Horrible question. A trap set by the great Satan himself. That question is in no way our problem.
Ok. I’ll grant you it’s interesting to say. So I’ll appease us all and utter it again.
Why haven’t they invented or written?
Why haven’t they invented or written?
I don’t know. I don’t care. You shouldn’t either.
But, returning to reality, I do know that this recognition that they use “our” against “us” motivates me like little else on this day.
Knowing this means that I know that they’re coming. Knowing this means that I know they’re on their way. It means they’re behind me. Knowing this means that I know they wouldn’t know which way to go without me. It means I can, in fact, tell “us” from “them” while looking out my car’s windows on my way to work, all the way to while I watch the international scene unfold on my phone. And it means that I can talk about who they are without the use of political designations or family associations–even in my children’s government mandated safe spaces!
To the enemy I say, “Here you go. I offer this post which contains everything you need to know about my intentions and strategy to defeat you. It’s free for the taking. (On circuit boards powered by lightning storing batteries, neither of which were invented by you!) Take it. As a gift. Because that’s all you seem to be able to do. Take or receive. Never create. Never give.”
To us, I say, “Back to clearing the path. People need to know which way to go.”
There is “NSFW” (that means “not safe for work”, Grandma and Grandpa–thanks for always reading btw), and then there is please never ever try to talk about what you are about to read. (PNETTTAWYAATR.) I’m serious. The following is a no win conversation. You just have to trust me. (It’s all true. But measuring by the “shame” I feel writing it, I wouldn’t say this out loud if my life depended on it. Ergo, we write.)
Disclaimer: this post is going to sound like it is written to “whites”. I’m going to act like I’m revealing a secret that I learned over the past four years while a member of a black church, attempting to socialize with the Black Community. But this post is not for the “whites”. It is for the “blacks”.
With the election cycle approaching full-swing, I finally feel like I have something to contribute. Perhaps it is because I have a namesake running. Speaking of, the big headlines about Mayor Pete right now contain the basic idea that the “blacks” (of the African-American type–not the new immigrants who playfully taught me that “No, Africa is not a country. But, yes, Africa is a jungle”) the “blacks” remain one of the last voting blocks to publicly embrace homosexuals with open arms.
To the untrained eye, Mayor Pete seems to be doing all the right things. He’s tackling the problem head-on. He’s headed to the South and he’s going to grin-and-grip. To the untrained eye, Mayor Pete is going to put himself out there for the individual blacks that he meets and whom he endears to himself to inspect and stamp “worthy of our trust”. The untrained eye is wrong.
With the “blacks”, Mayor Pete, woke or not, need not aim for some consensus of individuals, no. Consensus is what he’s doing with “whites”. But the “blacks” are not merely the “whites” with dark skin.
The “blacks” are, to their shame, a group. And Mayor Pete is causing conversation within the body. But they’re not talking about issues. They are merely conducting a sounding, no different than a weather balloon full of hot air. We’re not waiting for “blacks” to think through the issues–for instance, to think through whether they still believe the Word of God is the Word of God, no.
All that we’re waiting for is the leader of the “blacks” to declare Mayor Pete to be their guy. Naturally, the question is, “Who is the leader?” And that is a fascinating question. That is the question Mayor Pete would pay to know the answer to at this point. In fact, that is precisely what he is doing right now, whether intentional or not. All he’s waiting on–all we’re waiting on–with his little hurdle is for this “leader” to declare some sort of “Mayor Pete is da man!” or some other slightly Southern or grammatically-challenged sounding phrase of approval (like “woke” itself) to be released with which the millions of “black” sheep can echo, repeat, tweet, insta, snap, and fb all over the planet. (Interesting sidebar: Is there a black social meeja app, vis-a-vis BET? I can’t think of one.)
Lastly, here’s a little known, but known enough, reminder: The leader, the one with the gift of “utterance”, will prove to be a woman. I’m betting on Michelle.
Now you know.
(In any case, my bet is on Trump.)
“So, Pete, if someone asks you what the Bible says about abortion, and you don’t think it teaches on abortion, what would you say to them?”
“First, my strategy always begins with the goal of staying as the ‘question-asker’ for as long as necessary. In this case, then, I’d respond by asking, ‘To answer your question, I’d like to pry into your knowledge of all-things-ancient a bit. What do you know about the purposes of ancient people’s writings as far as they differ from today’s purposes?’ I’d ask this with the aim of illustrating that Bible times didn’t exactly include political flyers or any other kind of contemporary-style propaganda. Then I’d ask (in sincerity), ‘What do you know about how ancient people performed abortions?’ And, ‘Do you think people alive during Bible times had more or less abortions than today?'”
“I can assume that the average person would confess they don’t know anything about ancient writings’ purposes (nor that they had much considered the notion that folks in the past used the written word with a different purpose than we do today). And the average person would confess that ancient peoples’ abortion rates were similar. But that they doubt ancient abortions were as controlled as abortions are today. Most people probably acknowledge in the old days the more common activity wasn’t so much abortion as discarding newborns.”
“Then I’d steer the conversation with the following question(s), ‘So you think at a time before literacy was widespread, before the materials to easily record information were invented and/or widespread, and before the time when the practices which we really mean to describe by ‘abortion’ were being committed were widespread, that the Bible writers–who seem to have a singular goal of declaring their god to be the only god–will have specifically addressed the practice of ending pregnancy before delivery?'”
“You see? You see. Okay. It’s not even working on you?”
“Well, let’s put it this way. Pretend you’re a preacher in front of a congregation. The people want to hear what you think about abortion, the people want to hear what you think the Bible says about abortion. What will you say to them?”
“Okay. Ready? Here you go. Take notes. Ahem. (Cough). ‘The Bible writers never teach about abortion. It’s not in the Bible. Every time a Christian thinks the Bible is talking about abortion, they are proof-texting. That is, they are using the collection of writings known as the Bible to defend an idea that they have, rather than letting the Bible have its own day and stand on its own merits.
“‘Does this mean abortion is unimportant or inconsequential to the LORD, the god of the Bible? No. Does that mean abortion is moral? No. Does that mean Christianity is pro-choice? No. Quite the opposite. Abortion is immoral. Abortion should be a crime. Abortion is evil. How do I know? Here’s how. Show me a pregnant woman who confesses publicly that she is filled with the Holy Spirit. (You know the Holy Spirit, right? God himself? Indwelling in people’s bodies? Acting as a conscience of sorts, guiding us along our way. Convicting us when we’re about to misstep, and encouraging us when we aren’t yet used to the feeling that accompanies righteous living? You know, the Holy Spirit.)
“‘Show me that woman who also is willing to confess that the Holy Spirit is moving her, convincing her to have an abortion.
“‘That’s how I know abortion is immoral, evil, and should be illegal. Because you will never find that woman. And if you do, everyone from both sides of Sunday will concur that she’s out-of-her-mind, no different than how the uniform public consensus forms on those highly publicized mothers drowning their kids because they say Jesus told them to. Without any subsequent knowledge or teaching on who Jesus might be or which Jesus she’s talking about, everyone knows those mothers are insane.’
“That’s my abortion sermon.”
For an Indian Guides event, when I was around five years old, my dad helped me build a pinewood derby-esque car with which to race other children’s entries. When we arrived at the “Y” we learned that our car was far outside of the weight limit. Next thing I knew, some man with a drill was using a very large drill bit to hollow out the bottom of the car.
My mom once took the silverware right out of my hands when I proved incapable of accomplishing the feat of cutting my chicken at dinner.
During a basketball game–B-League–my opponent turned around and handed me the ball, mistakenly. I said, “Thank you,” and proceeded to head toward our basket as fast as I could run.
The local go-kart track and arcade in my childhood town was called, “Malibu Grand Prix.” One time I pronounced “prix” “priks” as I begged my mom to take me there. She laughed at me for what seemed like forever and only when my tears ran dry did she tell me why. (Or that’s how I remember it.) Years later she still brings up the phonetic faux pas when her mood turns fiendish.
H- was attempting to mix the cookie dough ingredients together, standing on a chair. She was probably three years old. The butter was still pretty hard and that led to some of the dry ingredients flying out of the bowl and onto the counter. I decided to take over for a bit.
When on a childhood vacation on a working sheep ranch in Wyoming, I accompanied the man on an early morning hunt. As we summited the hill from which he hoped to achieve and maintain the advantage over costly coyotes and foxes, I did not stoop low with him. He turned and very quickly motioned for me to join him down low.
Same man, same vacation. We were shooting a bow-and-arrow. My younger brother was having his turn with the instrument. With the arrow half-cocked, he turned toward the man to better hear the instruction and the man ducked out of the path of the would-be projectile faster than I had previously suspected he could move.
I don’t remember the exact details or even the precise date of the event, but there, at least once, was a time when I watched someone do something very slowly. Rather than wait on their laziness and incompetence, I told them they could take a break and that I’d finish up.
There was a pizza party. Most people had had their fill. I asked everyone if they had any problem with me finishing the remaining slices as I raised the lid of the already half-open box.
I wrecked my car during a snowstorm. The tow company had it in their lot. I told them that I didn’t need it anymore and was just going to donate it to Colorado Public Radio as they were always advertising that unwanted cars were a great way to donate. The man beyond the glass promptly informed me that he took donations, too. That seemed easier and I really wasn’t that philanthropic. So I assented. Then, as my friend and I drove away, an opportunity for promptness presented itself to me and I vowed to think before acting from that moment forward.