Financial constraints shrieked in my ear, “You have to sell the house now!” It was a down market, and we had only one prospective buyer. And he didn’t have enough money to meet the reduced price. But Craig Bell, our agent, kept at it. Before you know it, the buyer’s father-in-law came through with the difference. We had a sale!
Who was grateful? Craig Bell was grateful! That happened eleven years ago, and every year since then, around Thanksgiving and Christmas time, Craig brings us a fresh, tasty crumb cake. For Christmas he gives us a holiday package of chocolates.
I need to show MY gratitude to Craig and the eternal gift-maker in at least a prayerful fashion, and every year Craig’s gifts remind me.
I needed a good belt for my pants. Loretta was going to Macy’s and asked if I wanted to come along. Since I don’t drive anymore (too old) I jumped at the chance. I was going to wait for her by the front door (the men’s department) so I looked at their selection of belts. I bought one.
The best part of that purchase was I earned a compliment from Loretta. I’m an old man, starved for a little praise, and she said, after she looked at it, “It’s what I’d expect from a man from Manhasset.” Wow! She had me enslaved! But I know my weaknesses.
This afternoon I saw an open display of kindness by a Purdue basketball player to a team mate. Purdue was playing Villanova. The Purdue player receiving the kindness I’ll call Purdue #1. He is about 6’10” tall and he took a rebound under the Villanova basket, gave the ball a bounce, and went up for a two-handed slam-dunk.
He came down in the face of a Villanova player and started to emit a triumphal roar. It seemed indiscreet (Purdue was ahead by about eight points). He was poked from behind by Purdue #2, who asked a question, which immediately distracted #1 from his inappropriate display. Thanks to #2, there was no need for #1 to be embarrassed. That’s what I call Christian friendship.
Sometimes people don’t live up to the standards we have set for ourselves and them. Do we love them any less for that? We try not to do that, but it is somewhat inevitable. The example of the Son of Man prevails.
He suggests that we love others as we love ourselves, but what if they can’t live up to what we have set for ourselves? We are only human, but we can still try to live up to the standards of the Son of Man. The incarnation of the divine into the human should not discourage us.
So we say, “Thy will be done.” Sometimes that hurts…a little.
I ordered some Christmas gifts for relatives and paid by credit card. I hate to do that, because with a credit card so many things can go wrong. I have two credit cards, and I erased (crossed out) one on the order form, and that caused a big problem at Swiss Colony, the retailer.
I like for things to work out smoothly, like when God gives a gift. No hassle, no mistakes, just there it is. Too bad I don’t have that capability. I’m working for the time when I get it, hopefully in heaven.
Being able to give a gift is one of the joys of life. Thank God I was a teacher, because now I’m living off my pension.