Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Homecoming

I woke up this morning to the news that not only one, but two great men had died the day before. One of the men, Dr. Jackson Reeves had been in failing health for some time. Jackson was a bit of a kindred spirit. We had both grown up in the Methodist church, our families had left for the same reasons, and we still held on to a few of the teachings we were raised on even after leaving. He made me feel so welcome in this baptist church I now attend. He seemed to me to be looking forward to an eternal healing. It is for that reason I am finding it easier to be happy for Jackson in his passing. My heart goes out to his wife and family. He will be missed. I will miss him, but I think he was ready even if we weren't.
The second man we lost was the man I've been asking prayer for all week. Mr. Thomas Blue Sanderson, T. Blue to most, Santa to anyone who saw him. It has only been a moth since my kids were sitting in his lap talking of Christmas. When I first saw T Blue I thought he was a man who looked like Santa Claus. After I met him I realized that God had just made his outsides reflect the jolly, loving, and giving soul on the inside. At first I thought his passing at Christmas was profoundly sad, but then something my daughter said changed my mind. Nix said when I broke the news to her, "He can say Happy Birthday to Jesus in person this year." Although that statement might not be theologically sound it brought me back to that childlike view on death. It is full of hope with eyes on the eternal picture. There is no doubt that these deaths are sad and to be mourned, but both of these men got to meet the Lord today and they did it together. In that there is comfort. That is the promise we celebrate more than anything this Christmas season. So, in an odd way T Blue has, if for one last time, reminded us all about the real meaning of Christmas. I am blessed to have known them and even more blessed to be able to say I will see them again.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I was struck today by the lines people draw for themselves. Specifically I mean where people place lines between good and bad. Many have mental lines when it comes to their weight. You have the weight you'd like to be, the weight you are, and the number that wakes you up and tells you it is time for a change. I have heard people say things like, "Even at my heaviest I've never weighed X amount". In their mind, that number crosses the line between a little heavy and "fat".
I started thinking about this while listening to an interview of Whitney Houston. She had a line in her mind that smoking a little weed wasn't too bad. Even when she started in with cocaine she was very specific to draw the line between the expensive cocaine she was using and street crack. She seemed perversely proud that she didn't drink while getting high, that she wasn't strung out on meth or heroine. She stayed while her husband called her names, cursed at her, and even spit on her, but was careful to let you know that she would not have stood for him hitting her. That was her line and he knew it. It just amazed me how clear her lines where and how very different they were from my own.
Houston seems to have lived a lot of her life standing as close to her lines as she possibly could. It brought to mind a sermon I heard Scott (our youth minister) give. He pointed out that it is a lot harder to fall off a cliff when you are standing a mile away from it than it is when you spend all your time on the edge.
I don't think I'm standing on any edges at the moment, but I do think I need to take a minute and take a few steps back on one or two things.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Maybe I Need a Lawyer

In recent days it would be difficult not to know what is going on in Tiger Woods' personal life. Every time I turn on the news or the radio or even pull up a news website, his name is in the top headline. I haven't really paid much attention to it all, but I did see a story today that gave me pause. It said that 11 women have now been identified that he has had an affair with. When you read further you find out that all but one or two of these women say they have never had a relationship with him. I couldn't help but notice that their "official statements" were being issued from people such as Gloria Allred, a lawyer known for taking on cases like these. This got me to thinking of all the times I have had to hire a lawyer to explain my own perfectly innocent behavior. That would be never. I have yet to feel the need to hire even a publicist. Maybe I'm going about life all wrong. Think of all the people I haven't had a relationship with. Maybe I need to make a statement.
For the record, I have never been friends with Kate Gosselin, I have never been to church with Tom Cruise (but I'm pretty sure Rocky has), and I have never even shared so much as a meal with Tiger Woods.
This is one of those times where you really see why the Bible warns about even having the appearance of evil.