Miracle at St Mary’s?


We have two dog leashes. My personal favorite is retractable. The kind where the dog can immediately forget they’re on one freely sniffing everything for 18 feet when they are jolted back to the reality of their captivity. I bought the leash on Amazon for $20.

My favorite leash is for large dogs. Holly our 8-month-old Golden qualifies for being large even if she’s a puppy. The leash is heavy duty and its lead is half-inch wide nylon. I am mentioning my leash because Holly and I walk and run a lot. I love it

There’s a park hear our house. It’s St. Mary’s Park. It’s a great park. The park has signage posted around stating if you are caught not picking up your dog’s poo, you’ll be fined. I don’t remember exactly how much the fine is, but it’s not only $50. For me the fear a fine for not cleaning up poo is. . .well. . . intense.

I never used to think about a dog’s poo. Now I think about it daily. So, to avoid a fine one must carry an ingenious invention called a poop bag. I don’t think that’s the official name though.

Now that you have this information, you will better understand why I am tempted to call the event a miracle.

One afternoon – a week or so back – I took Holly on one of our regular walks in St Mary’s park. I did not realize I did not have a poo bag until Holly took her “position.” I did not want to be caught fleeing the scene of the crime so to speak. So, I did what good Christians do. I prayed to Jesus: “Jesus help me! Rain from heaven a poop bag. Please!”

Seriously, all kidding aside, I did pray however foolish or childish. And then it happened. A miracle took place.

Not 30 seconds after I prayed, I see a bag being carried by wind. (I’m not making this up.) The bag was caught up by the wind going up then down left then right. As I’m watching this bag its literally descending. I laugh. It’s crazy, even silly. I was concerned about the rule and I prayed. I’m not about to make a judgment on this being from Jesus or not. My faith is not strong enough to claim anything . But it is funny story. I do wonder how that bag just happened to be in the right place at exactly the right time.

A candy bag.
A candy bag that belonged in the trash
A candy bag that belonged in the trash perfectly shaped for scooping dog poo.
A candy bag that belonged in the trash perfectly shaped for scooping dog poo descending in the breeze.

Manna from heaven?

Gulp and Gobble Jesus


The kitchen was across the hall from a stairway leading to the sanctuary. Once month it was my favorite place in the church.

Once a month our church celebrated communion. When I came of age, I started taking it. I can’t express how significant communion Sunday became for me.

In our church, the blood of Christ was real grape juice, the kind that came out of a bottle, and was not not the Kool Aid. And the body of Christ was the moistest white bread I have ever tasted. It was cut up into small bit size cubes.

Communion was always at the end of the worship service. The shiny silver communion trays rested on a sturdy wooden table at the front of the sanctuary engraved with “In Remembrance of Me.” The trays’ glimmering dignity was in proportion to their grand contents.

The custom was to hold the two elements in your hand until all were served and the trays returned to the table. The anticipation eating and drinking was palpable. Pastor Hibbard would say words I was unable to hear being so focused on the delicacies. I was clued in enough, however, to hear the most important words “do this in remembrance of me.” Because after he said that I could eat that delicious cube. The process repeated for the cup and the signal was given, I downed the juice.

When the concluding hymn was sung, and the final benediction offered, I bolted out of the pew and down that back stairway to the kitchen where with other boys we drank the juice out of the communion cups as if we were downing shots. And grabbed fist fulls of the bread cubes and squished them together into balls before shoving them in our mouths until all was gone and we were left wanting more.  “Next month!” we would say. It couldn’t come soon enough!

I’m so thankful that my church let me be a boy. They let me gulp and gobble the body and blood of Jesus. They didn’t prohibit boys being boys chowing down with such gusto, joy and mischief the leftovers of the Lord’s Supper.

From my vantage point now as an adult and as a follower of Jesus, I’m convinced Jesus was delighted that his life was so consumed by boys.

 Oh yeah, we were Baptists!

Continual Motion


I noticed it. I lost my focus for just a handful of seconds. I don’t know why I did, but I did. Everyone round the circle was held in rapt attention by the person speaking.

Ok, truth be told, it’s not like I hadn’t noticed before. Karla has brought it to my attention more times than I could count. She points it out because it is annoying. She used to be nice about it. But too many years have elapsed, so now she gruffly says something like, “Stop! Stop shaking the table!” as she repositions herself away from me.

Even my kids have joined in the family chant. Not long ago I was driving Mary and Zion to something. While sitting at a light, Zion pipes up from the back row, “Dad, stop! You’re shaking the whole car!” So I am well aware of my irksome tendency.

Ok, back to the circle and the thing noticed.

What strikes me in the moment is my legs are flapping like a flag in a windstorm storm. But It’s not that only. What I notice in this moment is not so much me, but them. For the first time I notice I’m the only one round the circle whose legs are shaking. I’m conscious no one else is sprinting in place. Evidently, no one else experiences the energy coursing through their body that’s coursing through mine, an energy venting through my extremities.

Why do my legs thresh? Because of the throbbing ache when they are still. The energy coursing through my body cannot be contained. My body knows what it must do to compensate for the discomfort. My legs shake because they have to.

Again why are my legs shaking? You’ve no doubt heard of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS); it’s a real neurological condition. I tried to see someone about it, but their next appoint wasn’t for 9 months. Do I have RLS? I don’t yet know. My legs are restless that much I do know. I also know t’s a pain, and that, in both senses.

It’s a pain, first, because it hurts. My body is fatigued. Wagging your legs all day leaves them wearied and sore, but with little relief. And when I climb into bed the motion ceases but the ache doesn’t.

On the other hand, it’s also a pain because it affects the people around you. Because it’s isolating. Because it’s frustrating. Because it’s embarrassing. What does it mean, this continual motion?

Legs moving incessantly

Energy surging through my body

Wait maybe I’m a superhero