This painting by Jack Baumgartner portrays Jacob Wrestling the Angel from the book of Genesis. It’s a central metaphor for this blog – wrestling with life, health, urban issues, and even with God.
Imagine a day when everyone had enough, an abundance of what they needed, no one was so greedy that they wanted more than they needed at the cost of leaving people behind. Just imagine.
It’s Remembrance Day. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of each year we stop everything we are doing and we remember. We even have a symbol, the poppy, which is meant to help us to remember.
But yet, out of nowhere, it began to rain. I couldn’t understand it at all. I was literally getting wet and kind of chilled. And on top of that, while I was trying to figure out what was going on, Superwoman walked by me.
My little girl, the one I walked to her first day of kindergarten with just yesterday (it seems), will jump on the subway tomorrow morning and head off to her new school.
I didn’t think she even knew who I was. After all, she’s lived all over the world and has seen and done everything. Everyone who is anyone in The Salvation Army world knows her name. I was a friend of her husband Commissioner Stanley Walter. We worked together when I was director of Friendship Room and then Gateway. He was our accountant in his retirement. He came to work every week in his SA uniform, smiled at everyone, did his 4 hour per week job more efficiently than any form of accounting I've ever experienced, updated me on our financial situation, gave me a word of encouragement and/or constructive critique, and left. I loved him and was deeply saddened when he told me he was sick and wouldn’t be back. In 2004 I quietly sat in the backseat at his funeral to pay my respects, didn’t talk to a soul, and left. I didn’t even bring greetings to his grieving wife, not wanting to interrupt her grief and thinking she had no idea who I was anyways.
In my weakness, I am being molded into much less the ‘fixer’ I always have tried to be, and more of a listener. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
There was this one time when I played in a band with a guy who was severely mentally ill. When he sat down to play the drums, his eyes went clear and he became a drumming machine.