Life from the rear-view mirror

He saved the world…but he can’t save himself … Vol 95

The title is misleading…on purpose. I want to tell a story about a couple that I enrolled into a Medicare plan just a couple of weeks ago.

Yesterday afternoon I met with a couple who were considering a change of Medicare plans. Bill and Marge (names have been changed)  were originally from Brooklyn, NY and had moved up to Rochester many years before to work for the big yellow box…(that’s Kodak if you’re not from these parts)
There was just a hint of the old Brooklyn accent left…which made the conversation feel like there was gonna be a “forget about it…” coming out of one of their mouths in that brash Brooklyn style at any moment.
Bill was really prepared to talk Medicare. His questions were well thought out, and he considered my responses carefully, taking notes on the enrollment kit he had procured from a friend or maybe from a meeting he had attended somewhere.
In the course of the conversation I learned that he had been a pilot in his younger days. (that always sparks a keen interest with me…) To look at Bill and his silver hair, I figured he had served in Vietnam… but it turns out that he flew P-51’s and B-17’s in WWII! After he told me that, with great delight, he leaned back in his chair and with a huge gesture and even bigger grin on his face he exclaimed “I saved the world!” That exclamation was accompanied by a heartfelt, belly laugh! I laughed right along with him…just a little in awe as the weight of his words and his bravado sunk in.
Marge sat at the table next to me clearly enjoying Bill’s antics.
Knowing quite a few fighter pilots as I do…it was a privilege and an honor to meet this 92 year old…just one of the men who truly changed the course of WWII and helped ensure that today we are speaking English and not German. I believe that with all my heart.

I will be forever grateful for the service of these heroic Americans.

The sad part of this story came later. I’m not sure how we got talking about church…but we did. Bill was very outspoken and mocked the Bible and the account of Adam and Eve, the flood….crossing of the Red Sea…pretty much all of it. “It’s all just a story for people who need that sort of thing…” he said as he gestured in a “I don’t need it” sort of way. He proceeded to tell me that none of his dead friends had once come back, or whispered in his ear or appeared in a dream even once to tell him about heaven or hell. So…he concluded it must not exist. Now it wasn’t like Bill had never been exposed to church…in fact he attended almost every week. He went to a large liturgical church where there was a lot of standing up, sitting down, kneeling and repeating things that the Priest would say. I asked him if he didn’t believe any of this…why go to church. He informed me that it was for the culture. The food…the dances…the friendship. Surprisingly God didn’t even make it to Bill’s top three reasons to go to church.

Then I thought about Bill’s earlier statement about saving the world…and the irony of it. If something didn’t change in Bill’s heart…this man who literally helped save the world from the oppression and tyranny of Nazi Germany would lose his soul to apathy and disbelief. Not because he was a sinner…we all are. But because he refused to believe that a relationship with God through Christ was for anybody but children. For anyone but those who needed stories to believe in.

I thank God for the stories in the Bible. I believe every one to be true. Even the parables are designed to teach us principles about a life lived for God with purpose and hope.

While I’m still thankful for men and women who paid a terrible sacrifice to help America stay free…I’m more thankful to my Savior who set me free eternally and waits for me to join him one day soon.

dugz4 November 16, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink

Reflections of a Moron… Vol 94

In-Street-Pedestrian-Crosswalk-Signs-98308-002-lgA couple of nights ago I had gone to Wegmans to pick up something for somebody. I had finished the trek across the parking lot and had just stepped into the pedestrian crosswalk right in front of the Wegmans entrance when a young guy in some late model something ignored the stop sign and nearly hit me. Man…it was close…inches.
Thankfully, I was watching out for me even though he wasn’t…so as he drove by oblivious,(and let me just say for the record that I am hard to miss..) I hit the driver-side window with the back of my hand. I hit it hard. Not hard enough to break it (or my hand) but hard enough for him to think he hit me…which he did.
It was a few seconds before he actually stopped and responded (he probably had to check his underwear) but respond he did..and with some very colorful adjectives punctuated with a liberal (and kind of shouty) sprinkling of the F-bomb. He asked me…no, not asked…..what do you call it when you have been scared half to death which turns to seething anger? Ah yes…screaming is what you call it….So he screamed.. “What the Fxxx are you doing? To which I replied “What are YOU doing? I’m in the crosswalk…you ran the freaking stop sign and almost hit me.”  Now…I didn’t say it quite that demurely I admit…but I did not use any F-bombs.  You might have thought I was mature enough to have stopped speaking at that point…but no…I was also a little freaked and pissed off… so I punctuated my statement with a hearty cry of “MORON!”
Thankfully there was no gunfire, knives or anything else hurled in my direction after the remark…and the rest of my short shopping experience was uneventful except for a lot of looking over my shoulder. But as I later reflected on the encounter, I knew I had blown it. I shouldn’t have responded that way. I didn’t need to respond at all.
I was unharmed…unscathed…he missed me. Instead, I hit him!
Turns out I was the moron.
I could have shown grace by not responding, even though that driver would never have known it. I could have simply been thankful that I wasn’t hurt. But instead I was indignant and vengeful. Thankfully, my only consequence was a bruised conscience…it could have been a lot worse.
I know it’s a small thing when I think about it now…but I’m glad that God reminds me of my poor behavior…when it happens. And it still happens more than I like.
This is the moron…signing off…

dugz4 November 14, 2015 Leave A Comment Permalink