Category Archives: God stuff

In some ways, maybe Good Friday should be more important to us than Easter

Even if you skip the beatings Jesus had before his execution, crucifixion is a brutal way to die. Your arms and legs are impaled to a rough wooden cross, which is then stood upright. You’re typically naked during your execution. What remains of your life is a choice between easing the pain in your feet and arms–at the cost of not being able to breathe, or pushing up on them to catch a breath.

It typically took hours to die. Breaking the legs of the condemned was considered a mercy, as it prevented them from pushing up and catching a breath. Death soon followed.

God allowed us to do this to him.

We did this to God and he didn’t destroy us. That’s humility. That’s love. That’s our model.

Love is giving someone permission to deeply hurt you and God certainly did that.

Personally, if you tortured me to death and I had the ability to call down a legion of angels to avenge me, anyone who participated in what happened would be a smudge on the ground.

Most Christians celebrate Easter, with Good Friday as a weigh station on the route to the resurrection. Good Friday is a bummer. Easter is a triumph, a chance to celebrate Jesus’s beating death and saving us all.

(If God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, then we already had the route to salvation; we just didn’t realize it.)

While Jesus rose on Sunday, it’s how he handled Friday that we should look to as a model, especially if you call yourself Christian.

A lot of American Christians say they’re persecuted, unable to practice their faith without some sort of risk. My pastor put that in perspective last weekend when he described discussions he had with Chinese pastors and the threats to their lives. Last I knew no one in the United States was disappeared for proclaiming Jesus.

But Jesus wasn’t about amassing power. If he were, he’d have been the political savior the Jews of the time were looking for. Instead, Jesus was an itinerant preacher. He allowed us to execute him in one of the worst ways we ever invented. A mighty leader who wanted political dominion for himself and his followers would’ve broken the people trying to execute him. Instead, he submitted both to the Roman and the Jews, but also to his Father’s will.

That means we’re called to be the same.

We aren’t supposed to worry about accumulating political power or demonizing our enemies or worrying about Lil Nas X’s sneakers.

Jesus didn’t die to make us powerful; he died to make us free. He died to show us that we could stand in front of God, having done our worst, and God wouldn’t destroy us. We know this because he didn’t destroy us when we murdered him.

We forget that too often. We assert our power in his name as if Jesus agrees with us. We spend too much time on the triumph of Easter Sunday, as if it were our triumph. When really Good Friday was our pardon, the tangible proof that God loved us so much that he wouldn’t avenge himself even when we murdered him.

In that regard, maybe Good Friday is the point and Easter is the end flourish that proves the point.

God literally had every right to destroy us and he didn’t. That’s love.

As a result, we’re not supposed to be loud and proud and powerful. We’re supposed to be moved to profound gratitude that God showed us that we could literally do our worst to him and that he wouldn’t destroy us.

PS — I’m not good at any of this.

Why anything less than Christian humility misses the mark

‘God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ — Ephesians 2:8-10 (New Living Translation)

A few weeks ago, I added my signature (virtually) to an online letter condemning those who used Jesus’ name as justification for the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. The point, at least for me, was that Jesus’ name should not be used to justify anything remotely like what happened that day.

There’s one instance of Jesus engaging in violence in the Bible, and it was saved for desecration of the Temple, not because he didn’t like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Mike Pence.

In almost three months since that day, the viewpoint on display that day has faded, but it’s not gone. Christian dominionism in the United States–that we are God’s favored country, founded in his name, and we need to fight to keep it that way–hasn’t faded.

It still needs to be countered an the Bible verse at the top of this post is the way to do it. It’s tbe Biblical refutation of militant Christianity.

To the extent that anyone has standing in front of God, it’s because God chose to give us that standing. Christian theology is clear that on our own, we can do nothing. In my view, it’s not a matter of God smiting us for sport; we just can’t exist in the direct presence of God as we currently are. It would overwhelm us and be really, really bad.

We need help to do that. And because every single one of us needs that help, we’re all in the same boat, whether it’s the angry January 6 guy with the Jesus sign, that liberal theologian you might like or dislike, even Yankees fans. And me.

For any of us to hold ourselves up as God’s favored is inaccurate. We are God’s masterpiece (says so right in the Bible), but only because he decided that. It’s not because of our actions.

Yes, but that passage applies only to those who believed? (says so right in the Bible)

There’s also the parable of the slave who had enormous debt that his master forgave. He found another slave who owed him a little money and did all the things to that slave that his master did to him. When the master found out, he wasn’t thrilled, to say the least.

Believing doesn’t give us free domain to lord our salvation over others. That would be boasting about it.

I know where I’ve missed the mark. I know what I deserve and it’s not to be God’s masterpiece. The fact that he loves me anyway staggers me. It humbles me, because I truly don’t deserve it. It’s solely a function of his love. It’s like the old testament book of Hosea where God tells him to marry a prostitute. In spite of her infidelity, Hosea loves her and eventually buys her back.

In that metaphor, all of us who depend on God’s grace are the prostitute. We’re the prodigal son who recognizes what his father is and comes back. He accepts us and invites us into a party. That should produce gratitude, not anger.

Too often we act as the older son and refuse to join the party.

The people who worship God as the US-loving ass-kicker of those people are like the older son, standing outside the party because the people in the party don’t deserve it.

That’s kind of the entire point.

The “sin” of homosexual love

In John’s Gospel, the authorities found a chick who was caught in the act of adultery. Being good, God-fearing guys, they hauled her in front of the self-proclaimed Son of Man to test his allegiance to the Law of Moses, which said to stone that dirty whore to death right there (but somehow not the guy she schtupped) . Because God.

Jesus said, “Okay, But the one of you without sin should cast the first stone.” Then he wrote something in the dust. And the accusers left her, starting with the oldest, then going to the youngest.

In terms of that story, I’m pretty old. I know my sins, and I know the weight of what I need to atone for before I can stand in the presence of God. I hope I’d be among the first to drop my stone and walk away. (“Yeah, see, I’d like to stone her to death, but I did this thing to my shoulder that one time and it hurts if I throw overhand…”)

Stupid Shoulder

I’m a recovering asshole. That means for as long as I live, I’ll still be an asshole. I just do my best each day to control my assholery so as not to hurt other people. And assholery isn’t my only sin.

I don’t have the tools to judge other people’s sins. I can’t take the spec out of their eye when I have a whole lumberyard in mine.

I can’t help you with that spec in your eye, but until the end of the month, I have a hell of a deal on 2x4s.

In short, because my only hope is in God’s freely given grace to guys like me, if I condemn someone else–if I say they can’t receive that grace–then I condemn myself. Whatever righteous divine wrath they deserve, so do I.

I smite thee, Chris! But once this stupid pandemic’s over, I’m getting to Great Clips. My hair is out of control.

I don’t know if homosexual love is a sin. I can understand why it was painted that way. In relatively primitive cultures, things like childbirth and living life were pretty risky. If you wanted to farm, build stuff, and protect yourself from the Philistines and all the -ites the Bible mentions, you need to make a lot of babies. And you can’t do that if you’re schtupping someone of your own sex. If you don’t have enough people, you starve, get exiled, or your entire population gets wiped out.

This isn’t then.

And I find it hard to believe that you can do everything right–that is, you accept Jesus as your savior and surrender to him and do your best to love as we’re told to do*–but then have a loving God say to you, “Well, you did all these things right and I’d normally be pleased, but you fell in love with someone of the same sex, so go take that elevator down. And I hope you were buried with an air conditioner and a really long extension cord.” (*– or you’re what the theologian Karl Rahner called an anonymous Christian–someone who doesn’t accept Jesus, but has in their basic orientation an acceptance of Christian ideals.)

I don’t know if homosexual love is a sin. I do know that in a world overwhelmed with hate and suffering, if it is a sin, it would have to be one of the lesser sins. Ultimately, it’s not my call. I don’t have the tools.

My job is to do my best to love them all and let God sort it out. And to work on that first part continually.

Christians need to denounce the Jan. 6 insurrection. And they are.

Two days after the Capitol insurrection The Atlantic published a story, calling it A Christian Insurrection. The article called out frequent references to Jesus and God among the protesters. At one point, someone yelled “Shout if you love Jesus.” When someone else yelled “Shout if you love Trump.” the reaction was louder.

Members of a movement called The Jericho March paraded around the Capitol seven times on January 6, mirroring what Joshua and the Israelites did around the city of Jericho, the first city taken in the promised land. After marching around Jericho seven times, they blew rams horns and the wall of the city came down, allowing them to invade the city and kill almost all of its residents.

Arina Grossu, co-founder of The Jericho March, said “This is bigger than one election. This is about protecting free and fair elections for the future and saving America from tyranny.” (Interesting how you protect a country against tyranny by invading and chanting to kill its political leaders.)

Now, a group of Christians is pushing back. More than 100 Christian Leaders have signed a statement condemning “Christian Nationalism’s role in the January 6 Insurrection,” opposing “the theology and conditions that led to the insurrection.”

Letter denouncing Christian theology and views that led to January 6

The statement is long, and some of its punch is diminished by its length. But it makes its points:

  • “No Christian can defend the unChristlike behavior of those who committed the violence on January 6. Not only was it anti-democratic, but it was also anti-Christian.”
  • “We have witnessed the rise of violent acts by radicalized extremists using the name of Christ for its validity in the past, including the deadly actions in Charlottesville in 2017. We join our voices to condemn it publicly and theologically.”
  • “[I]t is unthinkable for Christians to support the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, QAnon, 3 Percenters, America Firsters, and similar groups.”

It goes on to say that they choose not to see the United States as God’s chosen nation, opting instead to thank God that the worldwide church calls people of all raes to know and love God.

Fr. Richard Rohr, Catholic contemplative priest is among the signers.

For too long, Christian nationalists have taken the voice of Jesus as their own and remolded it to fit their own causes. In remolding, they’ve lost the essence of the Christian message. They’ve lost sight of the fact that they, too, have fallen short of God’s grace, and that they owe their salvation to God’s immeasurable love. On their own, they are just as worthy of eternal separation from God as the rest of us.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to convince society to adopt norms that conform with your views–in a free society, you get to do that. When turn the Lamb of God, who died for all into Rambo with a halo, protecting God’s country the United States from the gays, the fornicators, and the liberals, you’re worshiping an idol. And you’re claiming a divine right that takes much more basic rights away from God’s other children.

Jesus doesn’t love America best. He didn’t allow himself to be tortured to death 2000 years ago so American could fill heaven’s luxury boxes.

After September 11, many called on Islamic leaders to denounce the attacks. After January 6, it’s fair to ask American Christians for the same pronouncement against those who used their religion to try to overthrow this country.

That has been done.

Fibro Saturday: Give us this day, our daily bread

Fibromyalgia will be part of my life going forward. Part of my life. I won’t let it dominate my life or this blog. But it’s worth talking about, so I’ll do so each Saturday.

I’m new at this, so I won’t pretend to know much, but I’m learning. I’ve been tracking my diet, exercise, and the level of pain, fatigue, malaise, and brain fog each day, and I’ve noticed that since if I eat right, the pain level tends to go down, though my fatigue level and brain fog seem to be driven by my stress level.

I’ve also noticed that each day is its own entity. Just because I had a good day yesterday, doesn’t mean I’ll have a good day today. It’s a scary proposition, not being able to take anything for granted beyond today. I have to take tomorrow on faith.

I hate faith. I crave certainty and autonomy, which both make faith easy.

So I need something to get me through it all, something that doesn’t make the rest of my work life a litany of days whose uncertainty kicks me in the head with every pain, end-of-the-day wall of fatigue, or London-like wall of brain fog.

Actual footage from inside my mind.

For me, that’s faith in God, something I’m horrible at. And yet, the Bible’s clear on that.

“Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

“Consider the ravens. They don’t sew or reap; they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

It’s no accident that the prayer Jesus tells his disciples (and us) to pray talks about giving us each day our daily bread.

Right now, it’s often a struggle getting to the end of the day. I typically find the couch when I’m done. I feel like each day I cross a rickety bridge that shakes and shudders and threatens to disintegrate beneath me. When I consider the number of times I have to cross that bridge without it giving out, it’s scary.

I won’t lie and say I have that faith; I don’t. But I’m working on it. Believing that I’ll get through to the other end of whatever happens is vital to making it. If you know you’re going to make it, it makes the bumps that come along each day less stressful. I’m finding stress amps up my fatigue and brain fog. (Pain seems to be a product of diet, at least so far.)

So I can do is get up each day and do what I need to–and value the days when I don’t have to do it. And guard that fragile faith as the most valuable asset I have, because that’s what it is.

And I can work toward building that faith and changing my thought patterns so either the bridge seems less rickety or I become more certain that somehow I’ll get to the other end for as long as I need to.

The letter from Kinzinger’s family shows a profound misunderstanding of God

One of the most disturbing aspects of the national political divide of the past few years is its ability to shatter close relationships. Adam Kinzinger knows. The Illinois Republican House member receive a letter from 11 members of his family, disowning him because he voted to impeach former President Trump earlier this month.

Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a disappointment to his family, and God agrees. (sarcasm)

The letter starts: “Oh, my, what a disappointment (triple underlined) you are to us and to God! We were once so proud of your accomplishments!” Apparently, the Kinzinger family doesn’t waist time on small talk.

The letter from Kinzinger’s relatives

The structure of the sentence implies that they had the thought and God agreed with them. When God agrees with you on something, you’re probably both wrong. God is always the prime mover. We can’t compel him to act, or think. If they think God agrees with them, they don’t know him.

God is timeless, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I’m impossible to surprise God. Or disappoint him. To him your life isn’t a story that unfolds. It’s known.

More importantly, there’s no reference in this letter to attempts to sit down and talk this out with him. It’s an abrupt dismissal–and it applies God’s name its rejection. As a member of the devil’s army, his standing before God is predetermined.

I don’t know God’s mind; I don’t have the tools. But the father who waited every day for his wayward son to come home and ran to him before he had a chance to ask forgiveness–that God isn’t likely to assign Rep. Kinzinger to the legion of Satan solely for an impeachment vote.

I personally know several Christians far more aligned with the Spirit of God who are far more liberal than I am. I’ve gotten angry at their stances on political issues before. But I’ve never doubted their faith. It’s the same on the conservative side.

The most upsetting aspect of the 2016 election wasn’t the election of Donald Trump (whom I did not vote for). It was the strained family relationships resulting from the election–from both sides. My stances are my stances, and I won’t change my conscience for anyone. But I will accommadte others’ experiences and viewpoints in favor of the relationship.

I have to. If God cast me off when I wasn’t aligned with his viewpoints, I’d be screwed. God decided not to do that. How can I do otherwise?

As for Rep. Kinzinger’s relatives, their god appears to wear a suit and a power tie most of the time. He’s a jealous god who pours out his vengeance on anyone who doesn’t show complete loyalty.

Jesus said he could call down a legion of angels if he wanted to protect himself. But he laid his power down as we tortured him to death. He asked his Father to forgive us, because we didn’t realize what we were doing.

Adam Kinzinger didn’t abuse his relatives. He didn’t screw them out of money. He simply voted in a way that wasn’t consistent with their beliefs.

His relatives’ letter showed a profound misunderstanding of who God is and what he wants of us.

God didn’t give us the Covid. And he’s not looking for a reason to smite us.

“Why did God do this? I don’t know. But it was cruel and it was terrible…” — NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

I belong to a men’s small group that meets each Saturday morning to talk about Jesus stuff. This week, we talked about tomorrow’s Gospel reading where Jesus touches a man with leprosy to heal him, something in direct opposition to Jewish law at the time.

Leprosy was seen as a punishment from God, rather than a bacterial infection (mostly because they didn’t know what bacteria was). But if you’re wandering around the desert for an extended period, you don’t want people wandering around camp with an infectious skin disease. So they were cast out and forced to call themselves unclean.

Similarly, God didn’t send the Covid to us. He didn’t look down one day and sigh, saying, “Now this really pisses me off to no end!” then throw down an open can of divine whoop ass.

Not God

When my daughter was maybe four, she bit her cousin at our place, which made me angry. I picked her up, smacked her little butt, then put her on the bed pointing to the wall and said something like, “You sit here and look at this spot. If I come in and you’ve move, I’ll paddle you again.”

It got her attention and I don’t think she ever bit another child. While it wasn’t child abuse in my mind, it wasn’t my best moment because I acted out of anger. I lost control. Now, decades later, it’s one of my biggest regrets in parenthood because I did that for my benefit, not hers. It was self-indulgent.

God isn’t self-indulgent; he doesn’t lose control. He’s not surprised and enraged by our actions. If God were to act with rage in response to us, then he would be reacting to us. We would have control of the situation, not him. If God is mighty, we aren’t going to make him lose control the way I did that day.

Scripturally, the Bible says that God is the perfect parent. If our son asks for a fish or an egg, we wouldn’t give them a snake or a scorpion. We’re pretty good at giving good things to our kids. God is better than that.

There is no circumstance under which I would give my children the Covid. Biblically, then, God didn’t decide one day in 2019 to give it to us.

Why did God allow it? I don’t know. At some point someone did something and this occurred.

The concept of wrathful punishment for sin is wrong. A loving God isn’t sitting in heaven with a checklist, waiting to smite us if we don’t check the box (or if our checkmark’s not pretty enough).

That makes things a lot easier. I don’t have to earn God’s love. it’s a constant, there for everyone, regardless of circumstance. If I know God loves me no matter what, I can relax a little. i don’t have to protect everything or rise to every perceived threat. I don’t have to search myself critically making a checklist of every flaw, then flog myself for the things I do wrong.

I’m enough because the guy who created everything said so.

That doesn’t mean I can be complacent and do shitty things to people because I’m forgiven already. It means I don’t have to. I can let the world go by as it will because I already have what’s important. Then I can do things to extend that unconditional love outward.

I’m imperfect at it, but that’s okay, too. I can apologize without fear and try to make things right because I already have the important thing.

With all respect to Governor Cuomo’s faith, he sounds like he’s still working for salvation. (Maybe he’s not; I don’t know.) That work is already done.

And that makes the hard things so much easier.

Jesus and last Wednesday

Matthew 5:1-11 (New International Version [NIV])

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

A man dressed as George Washington, praying, and holding a big Trump flag.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

A guy with a cross shirt at the riot.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

A guy with skeleton gloves holding a Bible at the riot

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

The guy who stole an envelope from Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Rioters beating the Capitol policeman

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

A woman wrapped in a Trump flag with the gallows erected outside the Capitol

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Invaders breaking windows to enter the Capitol

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Protestors marching around the Capitol seven times as the Israelites did around Jericho before invading and killing everyone except Rahab’s family.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

A Jesus 2020 flag

Matthew 22:37-40

‘Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Invaders inside

And one last verse

Even in all the mess, love (which isn’t affection) is important

Over the years, people have done some breathtakingly generous things that have helped me and my family. The simple fact of life as that as much as the concept of the self-made man (or woman) is attractive and holds some value, it’s also very limiting.

When I was unemployed and needed a car to have a job, a very kind gentleman I’ll never forget stepped forward and made that happen. (His last name, fittingly enough, was Nobles.) When I was sick a few years back, the people who stepped forward, from my wife and my work partner outward, were amazing in their kindness and generosity.

I’ve tried to pay that back and forward over the years in a number of ways. If someone does you a kindness, you have an obligation to extend a similar kindness outward. For me, that all stems from a God who, in spite of my shortcomings (and they are legion), still longs for a relationship with me and loves me. If he, who is perfect and mighty, extends that kind of love to me, who am I to do otherwise?

For me that means my obligation to try to be positive extends beyond the boundaries of those who wish me well.

In other words, if you disagree with me vehemently about almost anything, I’ll still do my best to be decent to you. If you think I’m a stooge of the Communists who want to take the country over, that applies to you. Same if you look at my continued Republican affiliation and think I’m just a fascist, racist, sexist bastard.

It even means…and it’s hard for me to say this…I’ll help you out if your biggest desire in life is to remind everyone how many championships the Yankees have won.

Even these guys (gag).

I’m not perfect at this. Some might even say I’m not competent at it. But I do my best and I’m sorry when I, like everyone else, fall short.

That brings me to last week’s attempted coup. Some of the people who stormed the Capitol were trying to kill members of Congress. The woman who was shot and died was trying to invade a hallway where members of the House stood just moments before. They weren’t trying to break in for a Congressional tickle party.

Jesus wants me to love these knuckleheads.

I don’t understand how you can support that. I don’t understand how you can look at what happened and say it was justified or exaggerated or no big deal. I don’t understand. And I’ll argue against you vigorously.

And to be honest, I probably won’t like you very much; the feeling will probably be mutual.

But if you’re broken down in a rainstorm some night, I won’t go flying past you because of the bumper sticker on your car. If you’re feeling pained and alone because life crapped on you, I won’t rub salt in your wound. I’ll do my best to see you as a child of God.

Justice must be served over what happened last week. Those who broke laws must face justice. But beyond that, if we start withholding basic human kindnesses from those we oppose, we’re moving away from the ideal.

To be clear, I’m not advocating that we have to agree with people, concede to them, or meet their needs at the point of their definition. We should never justify those whose footprint on the world leaves an impression of hatred, selfishness, or harm to others.

In my world, God loves them, too. And that means I need to try.

Jesus said to love my neighbor. He didn’t say to like, honor, give into, grovel before, or validate them. It certainly doesn’t mean you get to punch me in the face, then become a victim when I don’t treat you like my best friend.

So I’ll try to do my best even when I don’t want to. I’ll accept that I’ll fall short and apologize where appropriate. I’ve been angry over the past five days, so I’ve probably fallen short a few times. And I’m not quite where Sarah Silverman is, but her stance is something to consider.

I’ve been the other before–and not without justification. And I knew I had to change. Without the possibility for vindication, change is pointless.

Justice must be done, but vindication must be possible.

It’s Christmas, so of course, I want to just kick the crap out of someone. (Hint: That’s bad.)

In the Christian faith, tomorrow is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It’s the celebration of God loving us so much that he laid aside his Godhood to come and be with us. It’s a symbol of his love for us and the model for us to love one another.

I know that I’ve messed up things enough that I haven’t earned that love. I also know that in judging others to be outside the scope of that love–and that they’re worthy for me to kick their ass, I’m engaging in what might be the ultimate act of hypocrisy.

Sorry, John McClane. I know you just overcame a mess of terrorist thieves, the LAPD, and the FBI to save dozens of people. But you aren’t wearing a mask so I’m gonna have to kick your ass. Sir.

And yet…

And yet the sight of someone walking into a public place without any type of face covering makes me angry to the point of almost literally seeing red. The guy verbally assaulting the Barnes & Noble lady that I posted yesterday makes me wish I was there so I could step in and crowd him the way he did to that lady.

For the first time in my life, I’m legitimately wondering if I’d avoid arrest if I engaged one of these eff you I’m not wearing a mask and you aren’t gonna do shit about it schmucks.

Hey dipshit, why don’t you come over here and drop me instead of some middle-aged lady trying to do her job.

I used to be an angry guy. I’m a recovering asshole and i have to be careful every day that I don’t slip back into that mode again. In all that time, I’ve never felt compelled to physical confrontation, until the last couple of weeks.

Jesus reacting to the caption on the last picture.

I live with someone who has an elevated risk. Her job requires that she go to a place where a lot of people congregate. One of those people caught the Covid a few weeks back–had mild symptoms and got past them and is back at work. As I shared, her friend’s sister died yesterday.

It’s creeping closer like the movie blob and there’s quite literally nothing I can do about it. I can wear my mask and stay in–and I’ve done that. I wear the mask everywhere and after the Christmas flurry, I won’t be making frequent stops at the store.

That’s good for multiple reasons. One of this is, as I’ve started to say things to people without masks, I’ve wanted them to make a big deal out of it. To touch me, just once, anywhere, so I could touch them back as hard as I possibly could.

In short, I’ve become an angry fundamentalist. I’ve become everything I’ve worked hard not to be–and then a little.

Knowing you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. In this case, the second step is to remember what and who we celebrate tomorrow.

I think God might understand. When you love someone, you give them permission to hurt you, and I suspect we hurt him a lot when we tortured his son to death. God is both love and justice and sometimes, even in God, those two ideals conflict.

But I also think God would be disappointed if I hung one on the construction guy who marched into the store like he was conquering a beach yesterday with no mask on.

That guy’s my son, too, God is telling me. Remember that. And remember what I’ve forgiven you for.

I do need to remember. I need to remember all of it.

Especially tomorrow.