Jesus Justice


I’ve been hiking the path of justice, attending bond and preliminary hearings awhilst two trips to Family Court for the “juvenile” and all I can metaphorically offer is this, my feet hurt.

I wonder if their feet hurt when they kicked down our back door while she was home?

The fact all four perps are incarcerated awaiting trial or sentencing at the time of this writing feels kinda like peeing in the snow; we made a tiny little mark on a surface that will otherwise be unnoticed.  They are criminals, period, and they deserve everything the law can muster against them.  But I know rehabilitation in our system might as well be an avenue on Neptune, because it appears impossible to get there from here.

So the Village ain’t blameless by a long shot either.  What is our takeway?  We best gather the courage to consider at least that while we posture another courage informing us all to purchase designer weapons surely soon sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond Whatever, because it feels like that is where we are headed.  I can’t help but think these days have given me a view into what I never asked for. I’ve now looked into the collective faces of the collective juveniles who will be collectively killed by the collective bullets triggered at the collective hands of citizen dwellers who are just plain fed up, to say nothing of terrified. I understand.

And that sentiment, the one telling me to take up arms, leaves me flat.

But it’s not the only thing I feel.  I’ll study that for a while I guess.  Am I less of something, less of a father, protector, red-blooded American because I am not moved to deal justice at the end of my own hands?  I pronounce no judgment on victims who feel conversely.  Who am I to say?  But my evolution hasn’t birthed me there yet, so I can’t go there.

In my now informed opinion, I believe an additional gun introduced into the situation matching the one carried by the four perpetrators would have only led to a volley of escalation and ammunition.  Those who know me best would be apt to conclude my response as the predictable measure of a liberal Christian minister.  But I think neither my theology nor my affiliation with the left side of the chamber is the seat of my sentiment.  I think my feelings come squarely from this fact: our daughter is alive and so well today, posting photos playing Maiden to a boy’s Knight in a Viking museum in Iceland.  “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and how long and how high and how deep is the love of God.”

Well, Ok, maybe there is some Theology in here somewhere.  I claim no corner on the God market, but I am more inclined to use prayer as my weapon of choice today.  Is that crazy?  Oh God. Be God. Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Tired Dating was started as a monument to enduring the stuff of relationships, primarily between husband and wife, specifically between Kevin and Alyson. There has been a thread of prayer between the keystrokes, invisibly offered and sometimes felt.  This writer’s shoulders are uncertain of many things, but that ole Holy Spirit ain’t afraid to rest on a shifting surface.  So tonight, I’ll try to cobble together a prayer for an enemy, trusting that my muted attempt of stuttering silence is enough.  It has to be.

And if you are still reading and wondering what in God’s name does this post have to do with dating my wife within these difficult times, here is my answer, as a father, protector, red-blooded American…and a prayer:  It has everything to do with dating my wife.

Everything.  Everything goddammit. Everything.

Lean on We


May 6, 1983 – two teenage kids from Nashville  successfully navigate a first date.  He picked her up, took her to TGI Fridays and then to see Dustin Hoffman become Tootsie at Melrose Theater.  She put her hand on his knee during the movie.  It was more than enough.

May 6, 2013 – three teenage kids all of thirteen, fifteen and eighteen unabashedly sleep in the same room tonight because their presence with each other makes them feel strong. IMG_4038 They will remember this date on the calendar too, but not for the same reason.  Parents now, no way could those two kids from the eighties have imagined this day from their easy perch back then. It wouldn’t have mattered if someone told them how hard this would be.  They were in love as much as you can be at that tender age.  But it was real enough to get them to this night, tucking their sprouting adult kids in safe, remembering when they placed blankets over rising and falling shoulders in the crib, listening to each breath as magic, hardly believing how far those days are removed from this now, the now of today.  The large man kicked in the back door while the home alone from college eighteen year old barricaded herself in the bathroom, “they are in the house now, he kicked down the door, please, please” she screamed to the 911 operator.  She was strong enough to be loud enough.  They left.  She stayed put until the police arrived.  She gave them a solid description.  Four arrests already late tonight.  Four bond hearings tomorrow.  Thank God.  The invasion of a home cannot be aptly described.  It is only felt.  And the course of the journey set in motion thirty years ago today was not altered on this one, only confirmed.  Above every THING that could have been taken and destroyed, the love that built this house is stronger than a busted door frame and deadbolt, and through it all, still, it is more than enough.  It is everything.

Happy May 6, Honey.  WE are strong today.  And we bore children strong enough to know how to lean on each other.  I think they’ve been watching us.