Monday, October 29, 2012

"What do you want me to do for you?"

"What do you want me to do for you?"

Those simple words are running through my mind over and over today.  They were in the Gospel reading from this week, and I can't get them out of my mind.

Seems there was this blind guy, Bartimeaus, who was Timeaus's kid, who was begging.  He heard that Jesus was passing down that road, and he got all riled up and started yelling and carrying on, crying out for the Savior.  Jesus called for him.

Okay, I have to interrupt the story right there for a minute.  I already love this guy.  Bartimeaus was creating a major ruckus because he KNEW who Jesus was.  I know who Jesus is.  Do I bother to create a ruckus?  No, because it wouldn't LOOK proper.  Fortunately, Bartimaeus is also blind to the reactions of those around him.  As a blind beggar, he has probably stopped caring what he looks like to others. He wants what Jesus has! He wants to see, and believes that Jesus can make that happen!  I'd love to be just a little more like Bartimaeus.

Not to mention, I'd probably wet my pants if Jesus called me over. I'd be all "Never mind...I'm not go on, Jesus...go raise that little girl, and fix Peter's mother-in-law..."  Not Brave Bartimaeus!  He dropped all his gear and took off in the direction of his hope. And Jesus asked him the question he's been asking me all day.

"What do you want me to do for you?"

Truth is, I don't know.  I don't know what I would ask Jesus to do for me.  It's not like seeing Santa, and asking for a bike, or an iPod or a Red Rider BB Gun.  What would I ask Jesus to do for me? You may think I'd want him to take away my heart problems, but with the right medicines, I can manage okay.  I'd ask him to protect my children, maybe, but not protect them so much that they never need him.  My mind has been running circles on this one all day. I don't like the answers coming to the forefront.  Especially since I already know what he did.

"Die for me."

Love me enough to die for me, that's all. Take my place.  That's what I want you to do for me, Jesus, and I have no right to ask it, but will you take my punishment for me?  Will you bear my cross?  Will you love me enough to take my buffets and spitting?  Will you love me enough to hang on the cross for me? I could never ask him that.  Not to his face. I can thank him for it, but I don't think I could ask it. Even though he already said yes to exactly that!  

"What do you want me to do for you?"

Let it race around your thoughts for a while.  What would you ask for?  What is he asking YOU for?



Saturday, October 27, 2012

A couple of Thompson boys

Uncle Tommy died.  

He is the youngest brother of my father, and I always thought his life and my dad's were very different.   Now I wonder.  

I went to West Virginia for the funeral, and was surprised to find that Uncle Tommy lived in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.  In the hills of West Virginia, you can see the veins of coal laid bare in the mountain side that was cut away to make room for the road. Uncle Tommy mined that coal.  My dad, on the other hand, went into the Air Force and moved to Michigan to pursue his extensive law enforcement career.

You know that guy that everyone in town knows and loves?  That guy that's at EVERY church event, helping out however he can?  You know that gray-haired dude that's the usher, and the video guy and the one who makes sure his grand kids have whatever they need?  That's my Dad.  That's Uncle Tommy, too. They both are exactly that guy.  

Uncle Tommy is the guy that would call me out of the blue, just to shoot the breeze, because we both have February birthdays, and that makes us special.  I didn't have to do or be anything special for Uncle Tommy to love me.  I just had to let him.  

Letting someone love you is hard sometimes.  Sometimes it means that you have to be willing to accept that they can only love you the way they know how.  You have to be willing to accept them the way they are, not how you think they should be. Dads aren't perfect.  Sometimes dads make you furious when they...well, when they're just trying to be your dad!  They try to  help, and you feel like they think you're too dumb to figure stuff out yourself.  Really, they just want to love you.  Sometimes they say what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear and it lights your fire!  But again, they just love you.  

And sometimes they die.  

My heart goes out to my cousins, Tommy and Tammy.  I love you guys a ton, and I know your dad wasn't perfect, either.  You don't have to agree with his choices, but I know he loves you. He's your dad.  

My dad buried his baby brother on Tuesday, then celebrated his 70th birthday on Friday.  It's been a hard week for him.  My prayer for my dad is that he will receive peace and the knowledge that his brother rests in the arms of his Creator.  Uncle Tommy was proud to be a Knight of Columbus, and now he gets his chance to guard the throne of the Savior.  

As for my Dad, Happy Birthday, Dad, I love you.  I hope I have you around to bug the crap out of for a really REALLY long time!  I know you love me.  I'm here when you need me.  It's all good.