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The Small Wafer That Killed Me

The Christian church really has only two sacraments: Baptism, (which is the visible commitment of a life that’s being positioned to accept the grace of a loving God) and Communion, (which is a visible activity that commemorates the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross).To non-Christians, I’m sure that both activities are equally bizarre and cryptic; surrounded in colloquial metaphors of inner washing, blood drinking and flesh eating activity.
Throughout my entire life, both of these solemn events have been carried out with the seriousness, precision, and gravity that one may find when observing the exchanging of fuel rods in a nuclear power plant.It’s not intended to be fun and it’s only counts when the entire process is accurately finished.The event seems only valid when performed by old men with greying brows and warm eyes, who wear ill-fitting suits that smell of peppermint and cheap cologne.
When the pastor at the church where my special needs daughter lives, invited the church…

Opinions Are Like...

I was asked my opinion on an issue that a local news outlet had posted.  The article centered on the topics of physical accessibility, human dignity, and financial responsibility. Those subjects were offered in the context of the needs of one student with a medical condition. My introduction to the article was a big headline about a lawsuit with a primary visual being the offending building and a secondary, smaller, poorly composed image of a student that appeared to be harvested from a social media channel.  The bias was immediately established.
Issues aside, the thing that smacked me in the face were the responses that people offered on the motives, needs, and realities of physical difference in our society.If a society is truly judged by how it cares for the least of its members, then this small society of opinions is doomed.Now, I know better than to ask a crowd a complex question, and while Malcom Gladwell takes pride in his book “The Wisdom of Crowds”, I see crowds as inherently…

Being Fed With Stone Soup

The quiet surgeon went on to explain how his life had gone from being the doctor to being the patient in a span of about 60 minutes.One moment he’s a surgeon doing what he believed God had designed him to do, the next moment he’s looking at his own x-rays which reveal that he’s now a cancer victim with less than 3 years life expectancy.Somehow, at the end of all this he was able to say “I thank God for the cancer”.
From that sobering testimony, the pastor turned to face a tent full of individuals who have their own sobering realities stuffed into bodies that are “imperfect” by conventional standards.He was able to face them and with words that defy logic, speak how each developmental difference was in fact more special than different, more a gift than a curse.That one set me back a bit.The tent was alive with human movement but little of it would be welcomed as special in most of the world.Jesus’s absurd metaphor came to mind, the one where he says “no loving father would give a stone …

A Guy Named Bob

I glanced down at my watch as I waited for my ride and by the time I looked up, Bob was standing in front of me.  Bob had done me a small service that took roughly the amount of time that I’d spent glancing down and making a note of the hour.  By the time I’d seen midnight on the dial, Bob had shooed away a wild-eyed, homeless man who who came bounding across the street and was about to hit me up for money, point out where he lived, and warn me of the impending apocalypse; or at least in the millisecond that it all happened, that’s what I think he was attempting to do.
Bob calmly told the gentleman “hey, wut-chew botherin’ deze fellas for? Wut dey done to you? Go on down da street and bodder sommin’ eltse”.  Bob looked at me for a moment then continued scanning the ground for plastic bottles and metal cans.  He had on a large backpack and carried a garbage bag full of cans over his shoulder and it was clear that he’d not seen an easy life in a good, long, while; if ever.  Bob continued…

Empty Rooms, Full Hearts

In her bedroom I can still smell the scent of her shampoo; I run my fingers along the top edge of the Dutch door and remember seeing that little face laughing out at me in the middle of the night.At that time I was more emotionally than physically tired from trudging up and down those stairs for any one of a million reasons, and for nearly as many times.Sometimes on those trips I’d have to negotiate things that had been ripped off the walls and tossed out the door and down the stairs.I’d crawl over pictures, bedding, clothes, diapers, and confront a half-dressed, hysterically laughing face.Pure delight, largely on her part.
Now I look at those stairs, that door, the pretty pink walls.I look at the window that I’d replaced after the night I heard glass break and ran up those same stairs to see a little hind-end pointed at me while her upper-end leaned out the window and joyfully ripped flowers out of the flower box, laughing as she dropped them to the dark ground below.I look with eyes …