The Story

Early summer has arrived in Southern Illinois. It is 84 degrees with 41% humidity. It is a hot day and the Pandemic Prisoners have been released. The restaurants and the bars are open for business and what stores that we have left are in customer service mode. I recall last May. We were scheduled to visit Booth Bay Harbor in Maine and we had to cancel our holiday due to Covid19. We re-scheduled for September, 2020 and found that Maine did not want us due to the Pandemic. This year is quite different than the last. Vaccinations are plentiful and many have been fully vaccinated. A new chapter has been turned in the story of our lives. Our pastor, Kerry, said this morning in MJ and Jonathon, and my Zoom church service, that he wanted to gather photos and memorabilia together between now and Christmas and then for us to secure it until 10 years have passed. Then we could open the collection as a church family and see what we had been doing and what we had been concerned about and the direction our lives seemed to be traveling…way back in 2021. Well, first of all, I thought that it would be a nice goal to be alive for the opening of the time capsule 10 years from now.

I remember become a Christian in 1968 and wondering if would stay with it for the reminder of my life…rather short or long. I had found a lifestyle that suited me like a set of new clothes and I had more purpose than I had ever experienced before. I also had about 100 new friends that seemed to care about me and my mom. I have always been a bit of a loner…as was mother. The Christian life brought so many new and exciting possibilities that it captivated my attention. During those early years I wanted to become a minister. To me there was not a higher calling nor more difficult job to do right…than minister. And the Story continued.

People being mistreated and marginalized and shut out from the normal branches of power that others seemingly could access with ease, troubled me and I hoped to be able to alleviate some suffering and to bring a smile to as many faces as possible. Aren’t smiles and laughs…magical? Christ said, ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ Jesus did not tell us that he had a Cadillac and if we followed him that we would have one also…

Mom and I were poor. We were especially destitute when she and my dad divorced. I began the first grade carrying my lunch to school in a brown paper bag…and I was the only child in the class that did so. One of my classmates asked if my mother did not have the 20 cents per day for a hot lunch…I replied that she did not. There a number of people in our towns and cities that would be flabbergasted to discover that the financially secure of their hamlet…had an interest in them…

I still enjoy the new clothes of Christianity and have worn them for 52 years. All facets of my life have been better with Christ. I did not say that they had been easy…but they have been better. When members of my family were sick…Christ was there. When I was worried and frustrated in my career…Christ was there. When I have been disappointed in churches…Christ never let me down. I found many years ago that the role of Christian does not need to be explained…it needs to be seen…

One response

  1. Is there for honest poverty that hangs its head and all that (Robert Burns) children can be cruel to one another, you can’t be in my gang unless you have the right label on your sneakers? as the wealth gap grows this differential will only manifest itself.

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