Monday, October 28, 2013

The Veteran, The Big Mac, and The Gospel

On our way home from fencing tonight Ben was..."starving Mom!"

I don't know how this boy can convince his somewhat health conscious mother to pull into McDonald's and order him a Big Mac on occasion but he does and I do. (Organic purgatory here I come!)

On this evening we noticed a homeless man standing alone in the dark as we drove through the golden arches and ordered.

The sign he held simply said, "Veteran".

We decided to ask for two Big Macs.

"I want you to give this to that man Ben." I said, handing Ben the extra burger and nodding in the direction of The Veteran.

Ben looked shocked.

"Me!?...but what if...well, I don't know. I'm too embarrassed Mom."

"Honey, I know it's hard, but it's simple. That man is cold and hungry and we can help him, so we will. Don't be afraid. He is a man just like you. He was once a boy too....someones baby. We don't know what happened in his life and we don't need to know. We just to need to show him that someone cares."

"Okay mom." Ben says bravely.

I roll down Ben's window and watch.

Eye contact between man and boy. Youth and age. Reality and innocence.

The clash of generosity and humanity in just five seconds...

"Here you go." says Ben

"Oh, wow, Thank You!" says the Veteran with his toothless smile spreading wide behind scraggy beard.

That was it.

He salutes Ben and shouts, "God Bless America!"

and we say, "God Bless You!"

The gospel wrapped Big Mac in the hands of an innocent child and readily received by the humble Veteran? That's what I call beauty for ashes on Lancaster Boulevard.

every one is someones baby

Friday, October 25, 2013

about cross dressing


We have this mayor here in our small town who is a little...well, how should I put this?


Stu is a man who prefers to dress like a woman and has even gone the extra mile and had his chest.. let's say..."enhanced".

He also owns and operates our retro theatre, The Palace, and can often be found behind the counter filling up cups of perfectly hot buttered popcorn or collecting cash with his manicured and red polished fingertips.

Stu is just a part of Silverton life.

AbbySue and Ben have grown accustomed to his eccentric fish net tights and black stiletto heels.

Not that they haven't asked questions. They certainly have. And as a parent who wants to raise children full of integrity and grace, we have attempted to explain Stu in a way that reveals the condition of humanity....incomplete.

Zibby, on the other hand, has not really had the chance to see Stu up close and personal until a couple of weeks ago when she walked down with the big kids and I to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2".

My quiet girl stood close behind me, eyes wide and wondering, while I purchased the tickets and talked with Stu.

That evening while I was tucking her into bed she had the same questions that her brother and sister asked at that age about Stu. And I again explained as gently as I could. Zibby took it in, processing and filtering it all through her six year old mind.

A few days went by and I was driving alone with Zibby to piano lessons...Stu far from thought.

"Mommy..." Zibby says, "I've been thinking about Stu. I've been thinking about his clothes."

"Oh, really?" I say.

"Yes, Mommy, I've been thinking about his clothes and I've been wondering if maybe he just needs some boy clothes. And I was thinking that maybe we can get him some. Maybe he's never had any."

(Okay, so this is the part when my mommy heart melts and wants to burst out laughing at the same time...but I didn't)

"Oh honey...that is so thoughtful and kind of you. But, (tactfully), Stu wants to wear girls clothes. He likes them more than boys clothes."


" know...we girls do have very pretty things. I know why he would like them!"

It was all I could not to swerve right off the road.

Oh precious heart.

                        (My little girl who sure does love a beautiful dress)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

a different way to fly

I run.
My feet move to the sound of a melody I've been working out on the piano.
Nothing in my ears but the wind.
My watch free wrists cut back and forth across the middle of me.
No time shuffle mix.
The song I breathe in rhythm today is an old melodic church hymn,
"Holy is the Lord."
The first two miles wash me head to toe in an early autumn downpour.
"Holy is the Lord",
I slosh up hill, rain pelting.
Four miles.
"Righteousness and mercy",
sunlight forcing through the gray.
Eight miles.
The backroads are glimmering.
"Judgement and Grace",
I pry off a soaking sweatshirt and tie the soggy arms of it around my waist.
"Faithfulness and Sovereignty",
the fog settles low between the firs and above the emerald fields, a strip of blue.
Twelve miles.
I'm flying...
"Holy is the Lord."
The wings He's given me look more like feet.