You did not steal my soul

To the guy who stole my phone off the toilet paper holder in the bathroom at the Stillwater Public Library.  You lose.

At first I blamed myself.  Still do.  I will be more careful, for weeks, maybe months.  Maybe for always.  Probably months.

I then prayed for you, you know, “May God rub your nose in your guilt and cause bad crap to happen to you.”  Then I thought, you probably already have bad stuff happen, and worse, you think it’s normal.  I am sorry.  I retract the prayers!

I then remembered St. Paul’s audacious statement (Letter to Roman Church. 2:4) and thought to pray kindnesses to you.  Those kindnesses bring us to repent and turn from poop in our lives.  Hey, stealing is no sustainable lifestyle.  You can’t support someone you love and kids even if  you score a smart phone daily.  And you get caught sooner or later, and then she has no one to protect her and the kid(s).  That was you handing her the phone as I walked up and asked, wasn’t it?  She pocketed it and walked away as we talked.  You have her helping you do this stuff?  Think about that.  Be a man.  Don’t pin this poop on her like that.

So you cost me a few days with no phone.  Everyone made allowances.  New phone is here and downloaded (mostly) from the cloud.  So you showed me: yes, I carry it everywhere and use it a lot, but the &#*#&(&!! phone is not my soul.

Thank you.  I would have written sooner, but I thought to take the time to write a letter to someone I love when my phone was not intruding.

Maybe James was right: in all things give thanks.


The Threshold

For years I have whispered a fleeting prayer when I see someone walking on a prosthesis.  My first personal encounter was with a beautiful 12-year-old who lost her left foot and half her shin that we amputated in surgery one winter night.  She came back a few months later and we danced a little in the hall of the hospital — her on her new prosthesis.  I never got over the courage in a smile from that child.

Wars and accidents have increased the number of friends and new acquaintances sporting the latest in prosthetic fashion.  All face pain: mental, emotional, actual, continual, and memory based.  All must make daily overcoming part of their diet and regimen.

So my prayer is for their daily courage.  Courage to face the pain.  Courage to gear up for battle for the new day.

Courage to cross the threshold of his or her door and go out into the world and live life.

It takes continual courage, a reservoir of bravery, a small surplus of audacity to leave the womb or nest and cross the threshold into exposed life, doesn’t it?

And so for us all.  Even being down for a couple of days with a virus, and then we must get up and go back out to work.  Go back to school.  Go back to the project running over budget with no answer on the drawing board, yet.  Go back to fighting for a marriage.  Go back and face today’s battle.

So today’s whispered prayer is:  help me cross the threshold and step back into life, if not fearlessly, then swallowing my doubts and smiling enough to keep everyone else guessing! And help me use my abilities well, rather than as if someone only strapped them on to me yesterday in rehab.


Big and Small

We have it backwards.  Small things happen in Washington and Presidential Elections.

Big things happen every day in every store, school, church, and place of business.  Big things happen when people treat each other as Neighbor, you know, Jesus slapping the religious clown with the Samaritan Story Neighbor.

Neighbors cross the street unasked to help with the kids, paint, take people to the doctor, help a kid get tutored.  Big things happen when we treat others as they should have treated us.

Look across the street.  Do you see Washington?  Me neither.  I see my neighbor who is wondering what I am doing.  Who I am.  What I believe — as evidenced in my actions.

I see someone waiting for a surprise.