Wednesday, May 29, 2024

She Bailed at Bail

Unsplash/Marco Chilese
Time and again she’s bailed him out of the difficulties he’s gotten himself into. He’s needed saving in a multitude of situations, multiple times. There have been issues with people (neighbors, especially), possessions (cars and phones, to name a couple), and health emergencies (physical dependencies, neglected healthcare). She’s bailed him out physically, emotionally, and financially… over and over again.

She drew the line at bailing him out of jail. She’s warned him frequently in the thirty years they’ve been together, “There’s no money for bail.” So when he’d been out of touch the whole day, refusing to answer calls and texts she sent… she didn’t answer when a bail bond company started calling on his behalf.

She finally bailed on the constant outlay of money, assistance and advice to one who would gladly receive the first two but never heeded the third. Maybe he didn’t believe she’d ever refuse him.

Already depleted of emotional reserves with which to help him, an arrest was the straw that finally closed her open hand before it broke the bank.

“Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger; if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.” (Proverbs 19:19 MSG)


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Be the PPE

PPE. Personal Protective Equipment.

The term was banded about a lot during the pandemic. It refers to clothing one puts on to protect oneself from hazards in the workplace. I heard it used most in conjunction with healthcare workers who were trying to help those afflicted with covid while protecting their own health and that of their families. It was such a scary time; their courage was incredible.

I came across the term today in reading Forgive Everyone Everything by Gregory Boyle. In one of the stories, he mentions how his homies said they would be his PPE – “We are your mask” – which meant in effect that he was surrounded, enveloped and protected by their love.

The pandemic may now be over, but the need for that kind of love is not. This weekend, the PGA Tour was rocked by the death of one of its own, Grayson Murray, who died by his own hand. He had pulled out of the Charles Schwab Challenge early on in the tournament and was obviously struggling with a greater challenge within himself. The eventual winner of that tournament used his opportunity to speak after his victory to extend a challenge of his own to everyone listening to him, that being to simply speak words of kindness… first to those who love and support you, but to take it a step further and do the same to someone you don’t know.

Covid is no longer the threat it once was, but an enemy just as invisible is still on the attack everyday in different ways. Funny, the chapter in the book I was reading happened to be titled “We Protect Each Other.” Let’s be sure to do that. Be someone’s PPE.

“When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need – words that will help others become stronger…Be kind and loving to each other…” (Ephesians 4:27,32 NCV)


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bragging Rights

Unsplash/Johan Godinez
Even after just a few treatments in his fight against leukemia, Brad’s cancer levels have already gone down 75%... an above average response.

The doctor said he was “above average”.  We knew that about him already, of course! He’s been an above average friend in so many ways to all of us who have known him for so many years. But I guess it adds to the bragging rights to hear those words from a medical professional who’s been studying Brad inside and out for over a week now!

But God knows him even better than that, and guess what?! His opinion is that same! Brad is clearly big in God’s book… and not because of the current condition of his blood, but because of Whose Blood runs through his veins. Brad’s a child of the King, created in the image of God’s Son…  and equally beloved!

We may be rejoicing over the stats on the blood workups, but God is even more worked up over the status of Brad’s soul.

“… ‘Don’t be afraid… Don’t give up. The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you.’” (Zephaniah 3:16-17 NCV)


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