July 10, 2016 Leave a comment
March 17, 2012 Leave a comment
“Chasing down hot air balloons
on Sunday morning,
In pace with a familiar tune
I reach for nothing less
but something more, all the day
and the wind is at my back most of the way”
The young man sat on the swivelly, rolly chair and batted the blue balloon at his nephew who then batted it over to Richard, who was asleep.
The balloon hit Richard’s head and the ladies laughed. Richard was asleep (or so it seemed). The impact of the balloon did not wake him… or did it? It was hard for the young man to tell.
The young man then commenced batting the blue balloon over to Helen, who batted it back with her right hand and arm, her left arm noticably immobile.
Helen smiled at first, but then grimaced when instructed to use her left arm for a bit.
If I could wave my magic wand…
The young man rolled over close to Helen and asked her quietly,
“What is the matter with your arm…does it just not work?”
Helen grumbled softly and the young man had difficulty making all the words out.
The young man’s nephew was called out of the room and Richard and Helen and the other ladies walked or were wheeled out.
“Goodbye Helen”, the young man called.
“Goodbye, thank you.” the words came back over Helen’s shoulder.
The young man sat alone in the now quiet room. He looked over at the blue balloon which was now motionless on the floor.
He was sad and lonely. His playmates were gone.
March 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Although I’ve heard and read the story in the Gospel of Jesus healing the paralytic many times, it has just recently had a profound effect on me because of a part of the story I had overlooked. At the end of the story we read, “They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, We have never seen anything like this.” I suppose the people were astounded that a man who couldn’t walk was now walking at Jesus’ direction. I’m sure I would have felt the same way. But perhaps they comprehended the same thing I did just recently.
After watching the opening of the roof and the lowering of the man down on his mat, as a response to this display of faith, Jesus told the man “Your sins are forgiven.” The story continues that some of the scribes were there and were complaining among themselves that Jesus couldn’t do that because only God can forgive sins. To answer their challenge, Jesus tells the man to get up and go home. And the man does.
So what I recently began to wonder is, did Jesus intend to initially heal the man’s paralysis, or did he do that only after the scibes complained?
On Saturday I went to Confession. I have been doing that more frequently. On Sunday I didn’t feel very good and was confined to my bed pretty much the whole day, feeling miserable. Sometimes when you are laying in bed and can’t sleep, you think about stuff. I thought about asking the Lord that if it be His will, that I could feel better soon. And I thought about the paralytic man and his healing, and what Jesus did for the man. So I modified my prayer: Lord, if it is Your will, please heal my spirit and body.
In that order.
January 26, 2012 Leave a comment
On a cold and rainy Monday, we took the train to Chinatown, walked a couple of blocks, and then sloshed through the mud to find a place to stand. We tried, sometimes in vain, to hear the politicans and other speakers that were yelling over the PA system. They all said stuff I have heard before. After that, we began walking. And then we stopped. And then we started again as the mass of Marchers clogged and unclogged the street. We Marched up the hill, past the vans and cars, the chanting and dancing people, the speakers blaring music, the big digital billboard of aborted fetuses and up towards the Capitol building. My back hurt. I was cold. I whined. My feet were wet.
On the upside, post-march we had found a nice warm sports bar. We inhaled the food and the beer that goes with such a place, and I was just glad to be inside. It was a long and tiring afternoon. As we started to head back to the train to go home, I was rested enough to have a thought- Really…the March was over and what did I accomplish today? Anything? I surmised, as in previous years, this year’s March was going to be pretty much ignored by the popular media. Heck, I was even recently accused of being Pro-Life “once a year” by someone on “my side”. Is that what this was about? Was that the reason I drove from Cincinnati? Was this just a once a year show, just so I can say I was there?
Of course, I then rediscovered that my reason for attending the 2012 March for Life is because I have a personal problem. I have a deeply-rooted personal problem with the destruction of babies. My church and my and heart and mind daily tell me that it is wrong to kill an innocent human person. It is wrong to legalize and institutionalize the killings of innocent human persons. Therefore, I have to go. I can’t not go. At the March, you are surrounded by people who similarly motivated. Yes, it is fun to take a road trip. Yes, it is wonderful to meet up with friends from all over the country. And Yes, it is important to go get your person out there and spend your life affirming Life. Babies cannot speak for themselves, so adults make the Life position known on their behalf, even though it’s cold and rainy and the back hurts.
The March fo Life in DC is once a year. It is important for you to be able to tell people that you were there. Go. Go and say when you had the opportunity, you Marched. Tell your friends, your children, your enemies, your family, your coworkers and the guy sittin’ next to you on the bus. Tell them you did not accept what was going on an you said something about it. And you said to the persons who could do something about it in the place where they do their somethings. Then go do it next year. Make it personal.