If you’re wondering what happened to my response to Ehud’s F&H slam article, I’ve unpublished it. I decided to take the high road; be the bigger man, as it were. So come, my minions. Critique me; psychoanalyze me; make judgements about me based on little more than a phone conversation we had years ago. I welcome it. Really. I’ll enter your criticisms in the footnotes of my ten-chapter-long memoir (which I’m sure F&H will publish).
…but if you’re new to my blog (visiting thanks to the publicity my friends decided, out of the blue, to offer me), then be mindful that I’ve been publishing my struggles with the Christian Faith. You’ll be interested to know that after a particularly dark bout of providence and a resulting spate of angry prayers, I challenged God to discipline me. He did, in at least two instances, both of which, oddly (though humorously) had an Irish twist. The first was a few weeks ago and is recorded in my last post (Luck of the Irate). Here’s how the second happened:
Suffice it to say, I was having a case of the Mondays. Two hours from home, my car had broken down in coon-town. My radiator was bone dry and I was in a vacant lot surrounded by be-bopping jacobins. Was this God punishing me again?! “Well…” I reminded myself, “…I asked for it.” Asked for it indeed, with a healthy side of profanity. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure God disciplines us whether we ask for it or not. Best not to ask for it.
Luckily (and the irony of that word doesn’t escape me), there was an auto parts store about half a mile away. Believe it or not, it was an Irish-themed establishment with, you guessed it, a large shamrock as part of their logo. I put my pistol in my back pocket and set out to a gas station to get water. I was able to fill the reservoir enough so the car would start, then managed to drive it out of the lot and down to the O’Reilly’s. I had a busted seal in my thermostat housing; the water blew out so fast the radiator was dry again by the time I arrived. I thought I could purchase sealant and plug it enough to get home.
…turned out, that was wishful thinking. There was no way the sealant could plug the entire leak. At that point, I called my dad, who had to stop what he was doing and drive two hours with tools so we could perform a minor operation right there in the parking lot; we’d have to replace the entire thermostat. In the mean time, I needed more water (to re-fill the radiator), and asked the clerk if I could get some. “In the back,” he said.
I’ve had radiator issues before and I knew about the large sinks in auto stores. They use them to fill mop buckets but they’re also ideal for milk jugs. Sad to say, when I got to the back, theirs had an “out of order” sign on it. I swore. All the frustration of my recent religious struggles hit me full force. “Why God!?!? Again?! You just can’t give me any good luck, can you?!”
If you’ve arrived at my blog from F&H you might be used to judging your fellows harshly. I implore you not to in my case. There are times we all lose our cool and the pressures of life, even the relatively small ones, act as proverbial “feathers” to break a peeved-off camel’s back; or my back, as the case may be. Broke down in coon town, surrounded by vagrants and thugs. Even the O’Reilly’s employees were shady looking. It just wasn’t my lucky day. Until…
“Hey man…maybe I can help?” a voice said.
I turned around and…you’ll never believe it… there was a midget. A friendly lil’ feller, who, despite his stature, had the trustworthy features of an honorable, normal sized white man. He was holding a water key.
“Yeah…” he explained, “…this one’s broke so we’ve been having to use the outside spigot. You have to have this key though. Come on, I’ll help you out.” And help he did.
A kind word and friendly hand at the right moment, dear readers, mean all the world to a Christian down on his luck.
…although, maybe I wasn’t down on luck after all?