Thursday, March 17, 2005

Four Years

I've been stopping at a Circle K in the early morning to get coffee and little chocolate donuts for breakfast. Every morning she is there at the register. She looks like one of those drawings of the big, sad-eyed urchin kids that were popular in the late 60's. Every morning I say, Good morning... How are you today? ... Thanks! ...See you tomorrow!... Every morning she slowly looked up like a beaten dog and dropped the change in my hand. Not a word.

After three years she'd say hello, goodbye. The last three months or so she's actually spoken full sentences. This morning we had an actual conversation. She is training a new clerk. I said something like, "Don't do too good a job, he might replace you!" She actually smiled and said he's going to be working the night shift so no problem. "See you tomorrow" she says as I leave.

Transformation. It only comes through relationships, it seems. We might sometimes change through a catastrophic instant meeting with someone, but more often its through long term relationships. Its like the difference, as I say at work, between 20 years of experience or one year of experience twenty times. Change happens when someone pursues us persistently and relentlessly and draws us toward a place we fear or even might secretly desire. I look at Lent and think, God is talking to me. How long has He been visiting me, speaking, drawing me into Himself, and I just stare at Him. I acknowledge His coming and going, I take His offerings. How long will it take for me to speak a word, a sincere hello, or maybe even "see you tomorrow" as if I really want to see Him again. And am I willing and able to see Him in all the people He sends to me, all in His image, all "the least of these" that represent Christ to me. Who will say hello to me tomorrow that I will just stare at and miss God again?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Life is pretty much a ditto of a couple posts ago.

A conversation I never thought I'd have standing in my kitchen. You can listen in....

My wife: The hospice nurse came by today. We talked about my dad wetting his bed 3 times a night. She showed me a "Texas Catheter". Its an external catheter we can put on him.

Me: Hmmm.... didn't know they made something like that.

Thomas (who lives with us and helps with Dad): I saw those when I worked in nursing homes.

My wife: Yeah, its like a condom with a tube attached with a bag at the end. The nurse showed me how to put it on.

Me: hmmm... did it go?

My wife: Well.... you just never dream that you'd be putting a condom on your father.

Me: Thomas, you've put condoms on before haven't you?

Thomas: Not on another man....

Me: Why do they call it a Texas Catheter?

My wife: I don't have a clue.

Me: Well, if I ever get like that be sure you order a Rhode Island Catheter....

Thomas turns red while my wife has to sit down in a chair exhausted from laughing.