Death Comes to North Hermitage

My daughter's first pet died a few weeks ago. It was a Betta, or Siamese Fighting, fish. His name was Freddy.

It's the sort of thing that comes up in sitcoms now and then. I'm sure you've seen it. The pet dies. The family's not sure how to talk about death with their child and are tempted to avoid the difficult conversation by replacing the critter with a look-alike. I had the same temptation myself; fish have many doppelgängers. (You can quote me on that.)

At one point, my wife and I start to explain to my daughter just why the fish wasn't swimming. I started to get a bit teary-eyed, manly fellow that I am, as we explained that Freddy was dead and wouldn’t be around anymore.

But my daughter didn’t cry. She just turned her head, thought for a moment and asked, “Can we get a new one?”

“Sure, sweetie, sure. We can get a new one.”

Whew! Off the (fish) hook for now, but I know that conversation will come around again before we know it and under more difficult circumstances. Time to start learning how to boil the answers to the big questions down into pre-schooler-size pieces.


Eight Years

March 23rd marks eight years of sobriety for me.

God asked me then, "Aren't I enough?"

He is. Be encouraged.


Beautiful Days

What is it about the beautiful weather that gets me itching for the open road? I drove home last Tuesday evening--windows and sunroof open, something ethereal on the radio--and just wanted to keep driving, to find open road and breathe in the rushing wind. Do you get that, too? Where you just want to keep driving until you find a coast, maybe, just savoring your blessings and resting your mind and heart?

On Thursday, after a day in a windowless office, I stepped outside and the golden sunlight kissed me by surprise. I closed my eyes for a moment and inhaled the sweet air. When I opened my eyes, I realized there were people in a car nearby just watching me. I didn’t care.

God is good.

Dead Theologians Society

A bit of cross-promotion here:

The Dead Theologians Society at New Life Lakeview has just wrapped up Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together. The next work we'll be tackling is C.S. Lewis' The Weight of Glory. We will begin this work on Thursday, April 12th at 7pm in the Cafe upstairs.
If you're not familiar with DTS, it is almost as straightforward as it sounds. We study and discuss the works (and lives) of dead theologians. Some we may agree with, others may step on our feet and still others will have us shaking our heads...or our fists.
We read a passage each week, then come together to discuss it. We often come away with more questions than answers, but we always enjoy a lively and interesting discussion. Contact me if you're interested in joining us or feel free to check out the DTS blog.


Just Funny

Some time back my wife and I went to a movie at Landmark Century Theatre on Clark. It was probably Master of the Flying Guillotine. (OK, that's pretty funny but not the point here.) We parked in the parking garage, then went to the ticket counter and bought our tickets. I pulled out my parking ticket and asked the young man, "Could you validate me, please?" Without skipping a beat, and totally deadpan, he looked at me and said, "Sure, you're a really good person." Priceless.