Friday, December 27, 2013

Maybe We Should Thank Phil For The Conversation?

What can be said about the “Phil Incident” that wasn't already been said? For those living in a bubble, the popular reality TV star Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty Fame, was quoted in a QG magazine interview as saying homosexuality was a sin, Nazi’s needed Jesus, and he never saw the mistreatment of any black person growing up in Louisiana before the civil rights era.

Granted this statement was BOUND to inflame emotions in today’s world of political correctness, but what happened as a result of his statement has inflamed even more emotions. In a world where we avoid uncomfortable conversation or topics maybe we should THANK Phil? Today we are discussing our constitutional rights being taken away, taking about the rights of homosexuals, talking about the actual mistreatment blacks did in fact suffer before the civil rights movement, and we’re even talking about Jesus in our personal lives.

The network sponsoring the Duck Dynasty show, A & E, hypocritically fired the man then ran a 36 hour duck dynasty marathon, cashing in on the controversy it itself created from his firing. Will Phil return after all the fuss has died down? Will Phil go on to bigger and better things? Will this whole story REALLY change anything? Who knows but instead of  being so overly sensitive maybe we should thank Phil for the conversation?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Star in Her Crown of Glory

From time to time as a child my mother would make references to what she thought was in the bible, and of course her being my mother, I took what she said as the “gospel”. One phrase I often heard her say when she had heard someone had done an exceptionally selfless act of kindness or generosity that that person had won “another star in their crown of glory”. I asked her once what it meant and she said someday I’d stand before the Lord to be judged and if I had lived a good life the Lord would let me stay in heaven with him and wear a golden crown. She went on to say that that crown would be my crown of glory with stars showing how many good deeds I had done while on earth and how many people I had helped along the way. I took her for her word and for the most part I've helped those in need in my life when I could.

Many years ago I had just separated from my spouse of 25 years, most of them good, but the last few very turbulent for me. After such a split I think most folks go through various emotions ranging from guilt to even feelings of a lack of self-worth. Christmas has always been special to me and my large family always gathered on Christmas Eve at my parent’s home. I always loved being there on Christmas Eve, but this first Christmas Eve as a single person I was alone. I really didn't want to explain my personal decision to divorce to my family, and the kids went to my Ex’s family gathering leaving me alone on the one evening I dearly wanted to be home and not alone.

I decided I’d go out and about and not sit at home with all the depressing thoughts running through my head, some of which I’m embarrassed to say could have been my last thoughts on this earth. I went to a local bar I sometimes stopped by for a quick drink and found that someone must had secretly placed a sign above my head saying, “All complete losers please sit next to me”, it didn't take long for me to figure out this was no place for me on Christmas Eve. I left the bar and just drove around determined not to sit at home alone and let these feelings of depression get the best of me.

Before long I drove by one of the only restaurants open near my home on Christmas Eve and decided maybe a big fat steak would cheer me up. I pulled in to see how much longer they might be open and standing at the door was an old classmate from high school. She immediately smiled and greeted me a hearty “Merry Christmas” and a hug. I got to tell you that was the best hug I had had in a very long time, If not the best, the most needed for sure. She asked what I was doing out alone and I only told her I was newly single and didn't want to be home alone tonight. She smiled and said she hadn't had her dinner break yet and asked if I wanted company with my meal, boy did I ever!

It's funny how life works, I had not seen her in years and nor have I our paths crossed since, but on the one night I needed company more than anything, maybe the Lord sent me that angel. Her simple act of kindness to have a meal with me on that Christmas Eve renewed my faith in God, in myself, and in my belief that things would be alright in my new life. I still have no idea if my mother knew what she was talking about but I’d like to believe my old friend surely received “A star in her crown of glory” that night.