The Stain Remains

Around the country he flew, reckless and audacious, stopping long enough to make a new charge, to exhibit a new list, a good newsworthy press conference at the airport, hail-fellow well met with the reporters, and then on to the next stop, the emptiness of the charge never catching up with him, the American press exploited in its false sense of objectivity (if a high official said something, then it was news, if not fact, and the role of the reporter was to print it straight without commenting, without assaulting the credibility of the incredulous; that was objectivity). It was like a circus; he was always on the move, his figures varied, his work was erratic and sloppy, he seemed to have no genuine interest in any true nature of security.

Becoming Less of a Man…

… in terms of mass, anyway.

Have you seen one of those pretty color-coded BMI charts lately? As of today, I’ve moved into one of those green squares. Now, it’s an edge green square, with a yellow square next to it, looking ominous and whispering “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” But, still, it’s green.

A year ago, I was in one of those orange Whataburger-colored squares, of which a contributing cause may or may not have been Whataburgers. I was a semi-permanent resident; I had been in that square for ten years or so—there were pictures on the wall, a well-lived in couch, and stacks of chocolate in the closet.

April Fools Group

Early in the year 2020 BC, our pastor was preaching on the importance of community, of being in a small group, etc. He talked about the things a lifegroup (the official 121 nomenclature for small groups) did together, starting with being in the Word together. And then, as he is wont to do, he went off-script. “Maybe you’re uncomfortable studying the Bible, maybe you’d like to learn to study the Bible. We could start a How to Study Your Bible life group!” And then he went on with the rest of his sermon.

Knowing how these things went, I checked in at the office after the service.

The Closer

I’ve told this story probably a hundred times over the years. If you’re one of the ones I’ve told it to, well, sometimes real life has reruns, too. This one will be better than all those Saved the Bells. But not better than Batman, because what could be better than a Batman rerun?

In the summer of twenty-five years ago, the XO of our church at the time asked me to breakfast. Just like in the military, an XO at a church is the person who makes the things happen that the captain/pastor dreams up in his head. If you were to look up XO in the dictionary, this guy’s picture is who would be staring you in the face.