Friday, September 26, 2008

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

Evening, All. I stepped out this evening for our local high school football game. Prague played Eufaula and were losing when I left. At the half, the Eufaula band played a medley of music from The Lion King, a movie that still holds a pride of place for me. As I listened, I thought of all of the good in my life right now. I was especially moved to think of my friends, some new, some old, and some re-connected with. In particular, one friend came to mind, whom I know will be reading this in the wee hours of the morning, after dragging home from work.

I met this particular fellow in my journeys to Wichita. It's a long story and I am being oblique because 1.) I'm exhausted and 2.) I am not sure he will benefit from being associated with me. My conversations with him have sparked in the past a discovery of the medieval period, a fascination with the 1962 Missal (I am still debating what to do on that front), and a general appreciation for the piety of the Church. He's one of those people that brings joy, almost like a radiation of grace. Of course, he lives far from where I do so keeping up the conversation and friendship takes work which I most often fail at.

I re-connected with this chap by phone earlier today. I feel like a real heel because I haven't called him in so long, and then when I do call, it is for a favor. (I know, nice.) To top that, he told me about some personal problems that were plaguing him and his family. It was part of the reason he had to cut the phone call short. I was searching for a way to help, but I was at a loss for a good idea. We ended the phone call with promises to keep in touch.

As I continued down I-40, my thoughts kept coming back to him. Without disclosing the situation, I was struck by the unfairness of it all. On so many fronts, he had striven to do what was right and best for his family. Whether in the needs, material or spiritual, he was the walking epitome of the Burns line about the plans of mice and men. The proper platitude here is to invoke the Cross; knowing that doesn't mean I have to like it any better. Compounding this was the thought about how the sins of others had fallen upon my friend as well. Two words should suffice: "Housing Bubble." I need say no more. Others, whose greed took no prisioners and afforded no mercy, struck someone a collateral damage in a financial war. I suspect there are lots of those someones out there tonight.

Tonight, as I sat in those bleachers I thought of all the people who have been good to me. I thanked God for them. Without them, I wouldn't be the man I am. I thanked God for my friend with whom I had spoken earlier. I prayed for him as I imagined him at work. I prayed for him because I feared his anxiety of those family problems. I prayed that that which God had made him to do for and in the Church could really come to fruition. And I prayed in thanksgiving. It's a good thing that we are not alone.

To my friend, when you read this, know that you are in my prayers and in the community's prayers as well. Now, go to bed.

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