Why I’m glad I’m married.

Amy went to her parents for the weekend.  I didn’t feel like driving anywhere to pick up fast food (it’s bad for you anyway) so I made my own supper tonight.  I had two ice cream sandwiches and half a bag of Lays BBQ chips.  Topped off with an ice cold coke.

Come home Amy…come home…

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Feeling Farmer-ish.

Okay, behind our back fence is a huge field bordered by a dense mini-forest on the far side.  The city maintains a right-of-way there so two or three times a year they mow the field.  However, near folks back fences they leave a wide swath untouched.  In years past I kept our part of the swath mowed.  No critters or creatures that way.  Anyway, last Winter half of our trees, victims of the ice storm, were tossed over the fence in a frantic effort to clear debris.  It was a real mess.  My swath went un-mowed

I intended to deal with the debris issue long before now, but Spring was so wet and…and…well, the snakes began to overtake my backyard.  Craiggy doesn’t like snakes.  Craiggy runs from snakes.  Craiggy makes his wife kill them.  As he tells her how from inside the house.  On a chair.  Holding two of his pellet guns.  I figured if my backyard was full of snakes then the field was crawling with them.  Especially the mountains of rotting tree limbs directly behind my fence.  So, even though I knew the piles of debris were probably contributing to the snake problem there was just no way I was going to find out for sure.

All that to say- Our landscape guy hauled everything away (no snakes found) and I finally got to mow back there.  Although I didn’t see them it felt like I was having my revenge on the snakes while I reduced their kingdom to stubble.  But what’s that old saying?  If you’re going to seek revenge first begin by making sure you have two lawn mowers.  I was having a dandy time until the mower was stopped dead by a huge rock.  It’s happened before so I cranked it up and…noticed a new sound.  Not pleasant.  Then oil began to freely flow from every direction.  Not good.  Mower dead.

All that to say…I got a John Deere today.  Sure it’s just a mower but that green color just does something.  It makes me feel tough…VERY masculine.  Like a grizzled farmer working the field.  I have three younger sisters.  No brother.  If I wanted to play with somebody I had to play with Barbies.  Having a John Deere has finally redeemed my manliness.  I’m so relieved.

Terry Rush owns a John Deere.  His is a tractor.  I hope my little lawn mower is somehow related to Terry’s tractor.  Like a distant cousin or something.  Just think of all the fun they’ll have at the family reunion.  We can dress our Deere’s in matching outfits and they’ll just laugh and talk and…drat that Barbie.  What can I say…she’s in my blood to stay.

Remember me.

Remember me he moans.  Near the end.

Not surprising.  That’s how he lived.  Never planned.  Never saved.  Lived for the day.  Lived at the expense of others.

He’s a thief.

What did he steal?  Someone’s pay.  Someone’s savings.  Someone’s treasures.  Someone’s dreams.

How would they remember him?

Whose house did he invade?  Was someone home?  Did he wake them?  Did someone cry?  Did he terrorize them?  Did someone cower?  Did he threaten them?   Did someone’s bladder fail?

How would they remember him?

Did he hurt anybody?  Nick a throat at the point of a blade?  Bind wrists so tight the scars were forever?  Swing a club so violently a skull was cracked?  Violate a girl in such a way her self-worth never recovered?

How would they remember him?

He spent his life taking from someone- hurting somebody- avoiding responsibility- living as if there were no consequences for his crimes.  And now, at the end,  he has the gall to ask remember me. He can’t be serious, can he?  It’s a joke, right?

Remember…he is a thief.

His plea, though moaned, booms like a mighty thunderclap against the fortress hearts of the self-righteous. They’ve scarcely begun to cluck when another voice cries…

Remember you?  Don’t need to.  Taking you with me.  Today.

To some such grace is repulsive.  For others it beckons.

To some such grace isn’t fair.  For others it remains their only hope.

To some such grace perverts justice.  Does it really?  Look on the cross- the one in the middle…  Justice is satisfied.

Are there any thieves among us?

Stolen a friends innocence by tempting them to participate in sin?

Robbed a virgin of their virtue?

Stolen years of happiness from a spouse by selfishness?

Robbed an enemy of grace by refusing to forgive?

Stolen a confessors privacy by gossip?

Robbed yourself of peace by disbelieving God’s promises?

Jesus, remember us.  Not what we’ve done.  Just us.

Almost there.

They ran out of bricks yestersay so the wall is not quite finished.  But it still looks good to us.

Above:  The space behind the wall will contain the french drain.  The water will be collected here and carried underground all the way to the street in front of our house.  No more mudslides!

Above:  These guys were amazing to watch.  Except for the concrete mixer they didn’t use power tools to make the wall.  They used little hammers to custom fit every single rock.  In less than three days.  I love them.

Progress.

Yea!  The wall is going up.  No more mud flowing into the pool.

Above:  This is where my concrete ramp will be built.  No more lugging the mower up stairs.

Above:  Boulders cut into the hill to create a terraced effect.

Above:  Just to show you where we started.

Above:  Flower bed Amy and I made last week.

Well, we are pleased by what we see so far.  The wall will be finished today.  Next week they’ll finish grading the yard and lay sod.  We’re near the end.  Whew!  I hope your weekend is blessed.

Mercy. Please.

Nothing in life is free.  You can’t expect to get something for nothing.  So we’ve heard.  But what if you have nothing to give?

The man was blind- and a beggar.  He was just another face in the crowd… part of the scenery.  His days were spent hoping somebody would notice him.  His life depended on it.

I can’t see you.  Can you see me?  I’m hungry.  Will you give me something to eat?  I’m lonely.  Will you be my friend? Won’t somebody notice me?  Please.

I do see you.  I see the burden of a relationship will rest on my shoulders.  I see if I give you something to eat you might come to depend on me.  I see being friends with you will cost me more than I may care to give.  I do see you, but I choose to be blind.

Don’t despair.  There is One who sees everything- and notices everybody.  He’s nearby…

Why is everyone excited?  What’s happening?  Someone is coming…

Who is it?

Jesus.

Son of David, have mercy on me.

How awful!  The beggar calls for Jesus.  This will never do.  Shut what’s-his-name up!  Hey you!  Don’t bother Him.

SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!

Jesus stopped.

So did the world.  For a blind man anyway.

Bring me the one who asks for mercy.  It was a command.  A command for crying out loud!

Hear a nobody plead for mercy.  See a beggar who has begged his last alm.  Watch a blind man led by the hand one final time.  Notice Jesus most of all.

What do you want?

I want to see.

Then see.

And he saw Jesus.

I’m just another face in the crowd- one person among billions- part of the scenery.  There is nothing special about me.  I’ve never accomplished anything of significance.  I’m a nobody.  No one will remember my name after I’m gone.  Son of David, have mercy on me.  Will you be my friend?

I will.

I am blind.  I can’t see the me You see.  The dirt- the rough edges- the sins- the struggles- the hypocrisy have put out my eyes.  You say I’m forgiven, but I don’t see how.  You say I am pure as snow, but to me everything looks black.  Son of David, have mercy on me. I want to see.

Then see.

Those who say you can’t get something for nothing have never met Jesus.  On the other hand, the beggar did give Jesus something.  He gave Jesus the only things in his power to give.  He gave Jesus his disability- his neediness- his nothingness- his confidence.  They were gifts Jesus was more than happy to accept.

Son of David, I bring you the same things as the blind man.  Can you see me?

Yes, I do see you.  I see the burden of a relationship will rest on my shoulders.  That’s what I’m here for.  I see if I give you something to eat you may come to depend on me.  I hope you do.  I see being friends with you will cost me my life.  You’re worth it.  I do see you and I like what I see.

Have mercy on all of us. Please.

Momma Mia (not the movie) What a Day!

So we’re having our backyard fixed by professional landscapers.  All the “improvements” I engineered during the Spring were a dismal/costly failure.  And I can tell you it was no fun un-engineering them.  Anyway for the last two weeks we’ve had a crew out back doing all sorts of stuff.  Moving dirt.  Installing an extensive french drain.  Pouring concrete footings for a water-proof (Praise God) rock wall.  Moving large boulders in place which will give our backyard a terraced look.  They have promised us we will no longer have a problem with the upper part of the backyard washing into the pool everytime it rains.  And our backyard will look like a magazine cover.  They say.

Anyway, when I got home today the crew was in the front of the house working on the french drain.  This was good news.  It meant I could let our three dogs roam free in the backyard.  This is much better than taking them out on a leash one at a time because some of the crew are afraid of dogs.  I was so focused on getting the dogs out before the backyard was unavailable that I didn’t even notice Amy’s bright white SUV sitting in the garage (she should have been long gone).  I even had to walk around the silly thing to get in the door.

During the current mayhem the dog kennels (I prefer to call them apartments) are in our bedroom.  I burst in the room to shove those dogs outside as fast as I could.  I didn’t even notice poor Amy laying in the bed (way out of the ordinary).  I did notice the dogs weren’t kenneled.  Then I nearly had a heart attack when I finally realized there was a lump of human something or other on our bed.  Turns out Amy was waaaaay sick today.  Pray for her.  Please.

So I made sure to see if she needed anything.  BEFORE I did anything else.  But after the dogs had been taken out.  After Amy’s needs were taken care of I warmed up a pot roast supper for the three guys in our backyard.  Having a work crew at your house is a great way of dealing with leftovers by the way.

Meanwhile, the AT&T repair man arrived.  Why you say?  My fault.  Yesterday, while the ditch was being dug they encountered a cable.  I was asked if I knew what it was.  Yes, I did.  It was for the TV.  Which we don’t need anymore as we have satellite.  I told them to cut away.  Only later when I tried to get on-line did I realize it was the phone line they ran across.  And severed.  Because of me.

Of course I checked on Amy throughout the day.  How do you feel?  Do you need anything?  You need to see a doctor.

At three the plumber arrived.  To fix a leak.  Had to deal with that too.

But I didn’t have to walk the dogs with a leash all day long.  Not bad.