Sunday, August 31, 2014

the mouthy and the merciful

Mrs. Obama and her daughters
By some mystery, my browser homepage was changed to MSNBC recently, so rather than learn how to fix it I've been indulging in their glossy spin. It's fun to read news from an entirely different source than I would normally.

This blog post came through my email today, and it's gorgeous and convicting as usual. Pope Francis recently used the term 'a bitter zeal' in a homily, which apparently belongs to the ancient St. James. God save me from having a pretentious faith, because aside from the obvious blindness and harm to my own soul, that's no way to attract anyone to the Gospel. My dad always told me essentially this when I got flustered about interpersonal stuff --- it takes all different kinds of people to make the world go 'round. My father-in-law once said something similar to a friend of ours who was a new recruit for the APD (he himself being a veteran of LAPD), "Just put your head down and do your part". I had never heard that phrasing and was puzzled ~ didn't he mean hold your head high and go be a big bad cop? All good advice from men who have weathered four or five decades of getting stuff done in groups of fallible humans.

Speaking of the police, I met a guy last night who has been camped out in his car at the local grocery store. He ran out of meth a few days ago. He said he just hunkered down in a damp sleeping bag and kept passing out whenever he tried to read the Bible. Nearing desperation, he chased down a pair of cops who had previously tried to wake him up in the Carrs parking lot. He ran after them on foot, claiming he had drugs and that they had forgotten to search him. The officers were incredulous, but one took him under his wing, helped him toss his pipe, drove him to a late-night 12-step meeting, and has even employed him with odd jobs for the past few days. No paperwork was filed or charges pressed. I hope he keeps coming back. Father Martin gives a rousing ode to the prayers of a scared addict --- "Don't ever discount the prayers you said when you were drunk. A hurting heart is closest to God than any other. Those were the best prayers you ever prayed." That policeman has done something grand, humane, and risky. Soli deo Gloria.

Hoda & the lil' Giff taking breathalyzers
I can't even believe Dwija is considering moving. I wonder if the people who buy her house will be weirded out that there's an entire blog dedicated to their house? Funny quirk of living in the Internet age, you never quite know when you step on documented ground. Real estate sales involve those tiresome disclosure forms, about lead paint, crimes or malfunctions on the property. Sellers even have to disclose paranormal activity like suspected hauntings. I imagine those concerns will soon grow to include potential privacy violations or previous media exposure.

And I don't care much for the First Lady's chosen dress at her chef's wedding, PS! (although I liked how she and her girls were coordinated.)

Reading MSNBC reminds me of one winter when Anthony and I found ourselves in the habit of watching the Today Show every morning as we stared slack-jawed over coffee mugs at the frigid yard outside. The show's cacophony was warm, sedating and a little hedonistic (" Kathi Lee drinking Tanqueray at 6 a.m.? well, this is fun.") My husband sighed, "it's the dead of February and I feel like I'm trapped in a dentist's office, with old issues of People magazine come to life. Part of me is humiliated, and part of me never wants this to end." :)

But, look ~ here! Life can be simple, even when pierced by great evil.


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