December’s Cusp

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November is coming to an end

And Christmas-tide is around the bend

Yet the daily grind goes on

It seems for way too long

So I await the holiday break

For my sanity seems at stake

And while in the above, I may exaggerate

For Christmas I eagerly hope and wait


Padre

The Missing

Bella looked at her case book and let out a loud sigh.  She had never had so many back-to-back unsolved cases before.  She read through the details again.  All of them involved missing husbands or boyfriends, except for the latest one that seemed a bit odd as it was about a missing ex. 

Okay, let’s look at this the other way around.  Three wives and a girlfriend reported missing partners in the last two months.  Two of them came directly to me, one was referred by Jacob who thought it sounded “more my thing,” and the girlfriend was referred by the police.  Then Jacob sent the missing ex one to me yesterday.

Five missing men and I can’t find a single clue.  They are from three different areas of the city, and they have no apparent links to each other.  Hmm, a banker, an architect, a plumber, a student, and a musician. 

This is crazy, Bella said to herself. Why try to link them?  Because . . . because they are too similar.

The missing ex.   Why would someone report an ex as missing, and then say that they didn’t really keep in touch. Isn’t that the definition of an ex?  Someone you aren’t involved with.  So why do you want to find him, and how do you know he’s “missing?”  Maybe he moved, or just doesn’t want “you” to find him.

Bella closed the case book and pulled out the Brady file, the name of the “missing” ex.   Andrew Brady was a twenty-seven-year-old musician.  He did mainly pub gigs, and occasionally warm up sessions for some bigger local acts.  She had found a flyer that said he had performed at the Queen’s Head three weeks ago.  “Well, there’s some place to start,” Bella said aloud.


Padre

Uncomfortable Fit

 

It was bigger than she thought it would be.  Much bigger in fact than her husband’s which she had become accustomed to.  But this was different.  In fact, it was uncomfortable and almost painful to mount.  Sue really wished she had brought the bicycle from home now.


 

 

Padre

The Waysiders

As you go about your day-to-day life with the rush to work, or to the market, do you pay much attention to those you pass by on the way? We must cross paths with thousands of people in our lives, maybe ten or hundreds of thousands. But do we see them, really see them?

Jesus in His travels passed by people, but we are given the accounts how three (that I am looking at here) individuals which were both figuratively and actually at the side of life were brought into focus by Him.

In Mark 10:46-52, Jesus is called from His journey by the pleas of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar. He called for Jesus’ help. While there were those who tried to silence him, Jesus calls the man to Him. The healing of Bartimaeus’ blindness was quite public, but that isn’t the issue. Jesus had time for the man. Do we hear the pleas of those calling for our help? Do we take the time to respond?

Luke 19:1-10 relates Jesus’ encounter with a tax collector named Zacchaeus. This man was a social outcast (a waysider) because of his service to the Roman authorities. He was also, we are told, a short man. We can reasonably infer that he was literally easy to overlook especially in a crowd. This man however wanted to have a look at Jesus. No calling out like in Bartimaeus’ case, but a discrete climb into a nearby tree to get a look. It was from that position that he heard Jesus’ call: “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.” He was not only noticed, but interacted with in a surprising way. The social outcast was called to the social interaction of a meal. Do we engage with those others have moved to the wayside? Jesus did.

In Matthew 9:20–22, Jesus is moving through the crowds, when a woman with a medical condition reaches out to touch the edge of His clothing. He stops and asks who had touched Him. His disciples see this as a strange question as they are in a crowd and many people would have bumped or touched Him. But he notes that there was more to the encounter, for power went out from Him. The woman confesses to being the one, and that she was embarrassed to address Him directly with her need. He affirms her faith, and tells her she is healed. He doesn’t scold her for bringing her “uncleanness” to Him, or for touching Him. He accepts her at the level she initiates. Do we?

There are many other places where outcasts and misfits are engaged by Jesus. What these waysiders offer is a challenge to keep our eyes open for those who may be overlooked by us. We too were once waysiders, but we were seen and called.


Padre

A Little Privacy


College Freshmen Lilli Reynolds and Dan Peters made their way through the dense woodland to a ‘secret place’ that Dan knew of.

“How much farther do we have to go?” Lilli asked.

“Just a little,” Dan replied.

Soon they arrived at a scenic creek that opened into a crystal clear cove with shimmering water.

“It’s beautiful, but I don’t see why we had to trek through the woods for an hour just to go swimming,” Lilli observed.

“You said you wanted to try skinny-dipping, but you didn’t think you ever would if you thought someone might be watching. Now, here’s your chance.”

“Okay, I guess. But are you sure no one will see us?”

“I’m absolutely sure,” he said to reassure her.

“Okay, then,” she said beginning to strip off. “Wait, did you hear a buzzing noise?” she asked holding her shirt across her chest.

“There’s lots of buzzing,” he said, “We are in the wilderness. It’s just the bugs and stuff,” he said removing his underwear and wading into the sparkling pool.”

Lilli took another quick look around then removed her pants and joined him.

As the couple began to playfully splash each other and enjoy their ‘us time,’ thirteen-year-old Otis Stodgrass watched his monitor and counted this to be his lucky day.


Padre

Weekend Tasks

When Friday comes and you’re weary

Yet, face loads of chores that are dreary

Do not seek the easy way

As I discovered the other day

For I told Alexa to get it done

But “she” said “I don’t know that one.”

So, I guess it will be the same old way

That the tasks will get done some other day


Padre