Chronicles in Ordinary Time 56: Incredible Friends

new faces“New” faces; mostly from my latest project, “The Book Lover” by Roger Burke; due to be in print by the end of the month. Someone has written that the eyes are the windows of the soul; they’re probably right. I find myself fascinated with faces. If the eyes are the windows, then perhaps the faces are the window treatments; how the individuals decorate their souls…
I returned from Colorado at the beginning of the week; a 2200 mile round trip, living out of my mini-van for a couple of weeks. A few nights in motels. Some Colorado germs apparently finished their incubation while I was driving home; the Sunday stretch from Baker City to Portland is sort of a blur. Monday I ‘died’ on the living room couch, watching movies. Now, Friday, I feel over the worst of the illness; but it’s still time to give my right arm a rest—tendonitis. Too much awkward mousing; too many boxes lifted.
2200 miles provides a lot of time for listening to music; I don’t pay attention to the number of hours. A key to Life Success: time is only important when you choose for it to be. Not all time is equally important. Sometimes time is irrelevant. Another Life Key: I’m fairly selective about my audio entertainment while driving; I long ago came to the understanding that music—audio input—is “brain food”. I listen to music that helps me become who I want to be, rather than listening to music that simply reflects our culture; music that someone wants to sell.
From Todd Agnew’s “My Jesus”
‘Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
And I think He’d prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

Helping someone move from one home to another is probably a true test of friendship; those who show up, and those who don’t. There were many who didn’t show up; a handful that did. I spent a couple of days working alongside two amazing people; busy farmers that dropped their lives for a few days, bent plans around, and did more than could reasonably be expected. I’ve only seen this dedication in the context of ‘church’ or ‘mission’ or ‘Scouts’. People who believe that by serving they are doing the work of the Creator; using Jesus as the example of the true Servant.
JT and her foreman “would never be accepted in my church”…nor would they want to be. I don’t know their stories, but ‘church’ isn’t anything like their world. Much like myself 40 years ago. A lot of ‘trash talk,’ a lot of profanity; that in itself doesn’t particularly bother me, I spent a lot of years in the construction industry. For most people, words are fairly meaningless. From my perspective, their efforts were True Grace on legs; from their perspective it was mostly because they knew that the family we were helping would do the same for them, if needed. Friendship built over a lot of years. Perhaps it’s more of a rural phenomenon; the concept of helping a friend simply because ‘that’s what one does, for a friend.” Having spent most of my life in a metropolitan environment, it seems rather odd. But I generally don’t go out of my way to interact with people. When I go to such lengths, it’s because I realize that this is what Jesus would do, odd as that seems to outsiders.
Parenting can open one’s eyes. Doesn’t happen automatically, it seems that many are ‘blind.’ I have three adult children who are following paths I didn’t expect, when they were kids. “Church” isn’t necessarily an important part of their lives—three kids, three distinct relationships with their Creator. None of them see the Creator in the way that my wife and I do; and I probably won’t understand that until I’m Home. Faith is a gift of Grace; I got God-smacked when I was in my twenties; they either ducked or didn’t need to. Life without the Creator doesn’t make any sense to me; and I never would have believed that I would say that, back in the fall of 1972, a Junior in College. I’ve been learning not to compare my life with others; a difficult thing to accomplish.
Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey, and yellow, white,
but we decide which is right,
and which is an illusion.
“Morning Glory,” The Moody Blues

My wife and I raised three incredible adults; and they have found some fairly incredible friends. A rare commodity in this world.




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