Kindness

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Mark Twain

I routinely go up to the altar to pray in church after I have listened to Pastor Eddie’s sermon and as the congregation is signing the last hymn. I use the time to pray for family and friends, Pastor Eddie, and the congregation, as well as to confess sins and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Often, my confessions and prayers lead to tears, as they did today. I am not embarrassed about my frailty in the moment; it is cathartic. I let the Lord lead me, as I did this afternoon.

For the past few months, I have been walking up to the altar feeling an uncomfortable weakness in my legs, a result, I am sure, of my having sat too long—months at a time—and exercised too little, not daily as I should have. Others may not notice it, but I feel it most definitely. My footfalls are increasingly tentative. Time will tell if I can rebuild my strength. For now, I will leave the situation in the Lord’s hands.

As I was walking up to the altar this afternoon, a bright young lady—in all senses of the word— arose from one of the pews across the aisle with the same idea in mind that I had. For whatever reason, she wished to take my hand and to travel as a pair until it was time to kneel. At first, I was taken aback by this most unexpected gesture on her part, not knowing what to make of it. I knew it wasn’t a romantic gesture as much as a courtly one. Be that as it may, the epitome of kindness will forever be represented in my mind by her simple desire to take my hand at that moment.  I will forever remember her smile and the contagious joy she radiated.

Sandman’s Fifth Rule of Chivalry: If pretty girl takes your hand, let her. (I’ll pass on the first four rules, as soon as I have written them down.)

Unbeknownst to her, I had wrestled with feelings of abject loneliness throughout the night, spinning in my bed from side to side all night long with Raleigh to the right of me and Georgia on a pedestal at the foot of my bed. Both cats, it seemed, were doing their level best to make sure that I knew they needed me. To be clear, this feeling wasn’t despondency, nor even close to what Pastor Eddie refers to as “the dark night of the soul.”  I just have to feel, and if I do, I am going to feel with an intensity which scares most, but not me.  I am glad I do. Feeling even profound sadness proves to me that I am still very much alive, and that I have a soul.

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Photo credit: salmon-negro/Shutterstock

As the day began, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to make it through church without falling asleep during the sermon—as I had embarrassingly done last week.  Throughout the service, I sipped some iced tea, hoping the caffeine would provide enough of a lift to get me through to the end. Thankfully, our church secretary had asked me to read scripture, Mark 14: 32-42, and the fear of wanting to do it well also contributed to keeping me awake. (You can Google the scripture.)

I was struck by this beautiful young lady’s kindness toward me this afternoon, and I have thought about what she did ever since I left church. She made my day a happy and fulfilling one by shifting my focus. The first thing I wanted to do after church, if I had the chance, was to thank her, which I did.

How often do we go through our days so wrapped up in our own lives that we never stop to be kind to someone whom we don’t know or don’t know well enough?  How often do we bless others with our words and actions?

Thank you, my dear friend, for bringing joy to my heart today.

Sandman

 

(Photo credit at op of page-holding hands: lightpost/Shutterstock)

Reluctant Warrior

Tonight, as I sit here, I am just about out of energy. For me, like most people, I was busy with life today, working in the morning and tending to a doctors appointment in the afternoon. As I recall, I sent the Republicans to congress with specific in instructions to undo the damage done to our country by former President Barack Obama, the greatest danger to this republic since Franklin Roosevelt.  I sent the Republicans to Washington to neutralize the opposition, not to cave into it or to adopt the opposition’s agenda.

With the news that a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill has left the House for the Senate, I am finished with the Republicans. Finished. Rumor has it that President Trump is going to sign the bill after it leaves the Senate. If so, I am finished with him too. Finished. He was America’s last hope. I voted for him for that reason.  Hillary would have destroyed this country in about the time that it has taken President Trump—fighting the Washington establishment at every turn—to implement just a portion of his his much touted conservative agenda.

Initially, I was a Ted Cruz man, backing him with donations and purchases of his book until it was clear he was not going to win the 2016 election. Reluctantly, I turned to Donald Trump, ultimately voting for him for only two reasons: In a speech before the Union League Club of Philadelphia, he came across in no uncertain terms for strong borders and a strong, powerful military. Those two issues stood out, because I would argue that one cannot have a country without those two elements: strong borders and strong military. One must have a strong, enforced, impenetrable border, and one must project a strong military in order to have a country, not to mention be a great power. Open borders are unenforceable borders, carrying with them so many of the social ills—gangs, the violent crime, rampant drugs and re-emergent diseases—we have today.  

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Photo credit: Susan Schmitz/Shuttersock

If I were to list my top six goals for the Republicans and President Trump, they would be these: 1. strong borders (immigration), 2. strong military, 3. defund and replace Obamacare with a free market healthcare system, 4. reform or replace the Veteran’s Administration, 5. protect the Second Amendment, and 6. defund Planned Parenthood. I haven’t heard much about items 3 through 5, but I know that it doesn’t look like President Trump is going to get much of what he wanted, except more military spending and a small down payment on the border wall. Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat Party—crowing—seem to be implementing their agenda lock, stock and barrel. Particularly disgusting to me as a right to life advocate is that Planned Parenthood will still be funded. Yes, Planned Parenthood, the organization that sells human body parts from aborted babies. Ugh. Reminds one of the apostolic Israelites sacrificing of  their children to Moloch. 

All my voting life, I have heard the same inefficacious Republican song and dance and watched the  same vapid dog and pony show.  “We don’t have the House or the Senate or the White House. We are powerless. We only have the House. Give us the Senate, and we’ll stop the Democrats. We need the Presidency before we can really effect change.” O.K., so now you Republicans have all three branches of government, and and what do we get? A Democrat fantasy wish list come to life.

As I said, I am finished with the Republican Party.  Finished. Henceforth, I shall give no money to you, not a dime.  If you want money, go sleep with Tom Donohue, again.  

President Trump, a long, long time ago, I met you. For a short while, I was beginning to like you, because you stood up to the Democrats. I was able to overlook some of your quirks and moral failings. You took the Democrats on. With every victory, I cheered you from the sidelines.  If you want my vote in the next election, you had better veto this outrageous $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. Lack of resolve against such egregious government waste will put you in the same base category as the Republicans—whom I detest. If you don’t have the spine to veto the bill, I wouldn’t blame Melania if she left you. Wives will put up with a great deal, but generally they don’t like feckless husbands.

Sandman

 

(Photo credit at top of page-Fork in Road: Pavel_Klimenko/Shutterstock)