One Day — though 38 years ago, still lives in my mind and heart.

Father’s Day 1982 was and is memorable.

I was working in Virginia and called my dad to wish him a happy Father’ day.

We had an extended phone conversation and laughed at a number of things which a father and son share.

He thanked me for the gift I sent.

We had a custom of sending each the most outrageously ugly shirt we could find. Usually is ‘was a bowling shirt. He said that the one this year was probably the best and worst.

We continued to chat and said that mom was sleeping.

The call ended with me telling him “I love you dad.”

The next evening I was working in my office and received a phone call from home.

When I answered a voice I did not recognize introduced himself as Lieutenant Ryan of the Chicago Fire Department.

He then told me that my dad had died at home earlier in the day.

My father and I had a very full relationship with the things joyful and painful that a son and father experience.

I was far from a perfect son and he was as good as a dad he could be.

He always provided for our family, often working two jobs.

Many memories flood my memory and warm my heart — outrageous humor, telling a good story, saying “hello” to everyone you meet, dancing, giving others the shirt off your back, and a good beer now and then.

I was happy that the last thing he heard from me on our last phone call was that “Dad, I love you!

Thirty Eight Years later this memory lives in my mind and heart!

The Gift Of Listening

“How is your day going,” brings a smile on ZOOM when one participant asks that question and then listens, without interruption.

Poet John Albert Holmes said, ‘It’s well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.’

True compassion connects us to the grief of others.

A patient in a hospital who cannot receive visitors, an individual sequestered in their room in an assisted living facility, a senior citizen quarantined, in their home — these and many others need a listening ear!

A Beautiful Day

Back in November 2019 while, according to some data, the Corona Virus was developing; another part of our life was already literally showing “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.”

According to some reviewers Tom Hanks portrayed Mr. Rogers.

Persons of diverse decades and even generations made sure that the original show punctuated and enflamed their lives.

Mr. Rogers incarnated the “good man.”

In this current setting, while we are not commuting but staying home in our neighborhood, inspiring stories proliferate and punctuate the reality of “being a good neighbor!”

One man, Andrew, makes it a point to provide groceries for others.

Chalk art on sidewalks and in driveways colorfully proclaim “have a good day,” “stay safe,” and other needed and beneficial messages.

The neighborhood for me was a safe environment of 18 families and homes on St. Tripp in Chicago where neighbors cared for others, closed down the street for a “block party.”

Any parent on the block cared for each kid on the block, and even corrected every kid on the block!

Now, we are getting back to the neighborhood being such a place rather than a spot where we park our cars to commute.

Watch the movie.

Be a good neighbor.

The Next Day — The Day After

Hopefully, like many, we await, yearn for “the day after” this current situation ends.

While we are discovering new ways of relating, we miss the old ways.

A buddy of mine just shared one of the things we miss is hugging our kids and grand kids!

Until then, the “next day” provides hope to reach out to others, virtually!

As for “NOW,” I enjoy the present moment and day.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

Easter is the greatest feast we celebrate in the calendar year.

My whole faith depends on this one single event.

I, and many others, believe Christ died for our salvation, but if He had never risen, who would have followed Him?

I believe He did rise from the dead, proving He is God and Lord of all, and now there are over 2.2 billion souls in the world who identify as Christian.

I hope you are as proud as I am to be a follower of Christ! 

During these stay-at-home days, let’s please be sure to celebrate Easter together with our families and loved ones, even if joining together virtually online, via video, or over the phone.

And let’s make the time to reach out to anyone you may know who lives alone, so they too can experience the joy of the Risen Lord.

2,000 years ago Jesus walked the earth, so He knew what it was like to be us.

He experienced and thus suffered the pain of isolation, worry, fear, and even more.

He also knew what it would cost Him to save us… and yet He chose to do it anyway.

Today, I celebrate His power over death.

Because He lives, so can we!

Holy Saturday

This term, in my Christian tradition, was given to this day.

This is one of those “in between,” days — Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

We know what has happened and are not certain what will happen. This uncertainty nestles in either fear or hope. Fear that the past will continue and hope that there will be a better tomorrow!

In my tradition, this day Jesus was “in the grave.” Just saying that feels ominous, settled, and hopeless.

YET!

My faith, tradition, and experience believes and has seen that “there is more to the story,” that there are “additional chapters” in the book of life.

Paul wrote centuries ago.

“We often suffer, but we are never crushed.

Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up.

In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again . . . because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus back to life.

And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 14 CEV

On this day, may this Saturday be one of hope for all of us!

Now

How much longer will this go on?

When will go out of our quarantine, when will we have birthdays, weddings, meals with the rest of the family?

When will play with the rest of the family?

When will we go to church, libraries, restaurants, and ?

While we are learning to enjoy being “in place,” we still long to get back to the moments mentioned above.

I am learning to enjoy and appreciate Carol — sitting right next to me as I write.

FaceTime with kids and grand kids open new and fun ways of connecting.

I look outside and savor the sun, as a cat snoozes in the sun, luxuriates in warming rays.

I listen to old favorite songs and discover new ones.

I find old, often read books; and start reading the ones which were becoming an end table.

Carol cooks more of her regular favorites, while savoring new ones.

Our Bible study groups now ZOOM.

Thus, I am enjoying good things now!

remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13 NIV

Joy NOW!

Word To The WearyOur patience is being tested — getting through the morass of getting unemployment, finding necessary items for sustenance — and so on.Actions which previously took moments or minutes, now consume time, energy, and resolve.Given our age, thanks to the wisdom of one of the kids, we buy groceries online and then pick them up. After not finding available times for pickup, I got online at midnight and an order was finally placed for Friday morning.Something as simple as buying groceries tires and wearies.Merrimam Webster defines “weary” as “having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted.”Sustaining ourselves in such times as now requires known abilities and resources, and reserves are developed and discovered anew every day.“The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.“ Isaiah 50:4f.Being a word to the weary spreads a state of health and hope to the weary.

The Way

In life we like to go our way, do it our way.


We want to be in the driver’s seat.

There comes a time when, we must sit in in the passenger’s seat, and let others drive us.


Such is my current situation and I should not drive until cleared.
The following comes to mind:

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. PSALM 16:11 NLT

Riding along offers new perspectives, gazing upon new vistas!