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Monday, September 12, 2011

The old leprechaun with a lot of money

Some people choose to be nomadic.  "Transient" is another word for it.

Last year I had the privilege of booking a train ticket on the Heartland Flyer for a gentleman who is 67 years old, walks with a cane, sleeps at the river, and speaks through an electrolarynx (yeah, that's right, click it to learn more).  He didn't need any money; he could afford the ticket.  He simply needed someone to make the phone call for him to book the trip.  I forgot to mention that this guy had side burns (mutton chops, really) that would put Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley (combined) to shame.

This week the old very short man returned, with his chops, cane, and electrolarynx.  It took me a few seconds to remember him, but I did.  I never forget an electrolarynx.

He needed the same thing, not money for the ticket, but someone to make the phone call to book it.  So I did.  Afterwards I gave him the receipt with his confirmation number on it.  He pulled out his wallet and took out two hundred dollar bills! I did not expect that to happen so (of course) I reached out my hand ready to accept this generous tip for my telephone call skills, only to see him embed the receipt within the bills and tuck them safely back in his wallet.

I said, "Whoa!  You better be careful with all that cash."  To which he proceeded to show me how he would use his cane as a weapon if anyone got too close.  He then said in his robotic voice, "I keep another three hundred in a secret compartment in my cane handle just incase."

I couldn't believe it.  I had never met a real leprechaun before.  But here he was, with his gold stashed secretly away and ready to defend it at all costs.

Maybe there is some spiritual lesson in all of this.  Maybe not...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Does anybody really believe in coincidence?

Just a small story about the way I choose to see the world...

On Sunday afternoon I was leaving the church and walking down the long hallway away from my office.  As I approached the end of the hallway I noticed something bulging up from the carpet.  As I got closer it took on the appearance of money that was folded up.

Seriously, the first thought in my head was "Oh my goodness, someone dropped one of those tacky dollar-bill tracts!"  I wanted to take on the persona of a super hero, my name is Joey and my super power is being able to smell the stench of Christian clich├ęs and cheesiness while being able to eradicate it with a single blow.  So I stood there triumphantly with the wind blowing my cape, fists on my hips, and I said, "Not in my church!"

Then I picked up the money tract and when it was in my hand I realized it really was money and the threat of Christian cheesy propaganda was over.  So, I reassumed my civilian identity and proceeded to decide what to do.

It was only two dollars, surely that's too insignificant of an amount for God himself to have placed it there.

Monday morning came around and a gentleman showed up right on time for his 10am appointment.  I just met this white mid 30's year old homeless male the day before after the church service.  He had walked in to the building as a last resort for his desperate situation not knowing where else to go.  We spoke together for a while and he decided that the best option for his situation was to get back to OKC where he had somewhat of a supportive community.  I said, "Oh, I think God put two dollars on the floor of the church yesterday for you to have.  Combined with this quarter (I had in a drawer of my desk) this will get you on the bus from Norman to OKC."

Responding with sincere gratitude and shock, he smiled, eyes big, and we walked out of the church together.

I don't look for God's workings constantly.  I wonder what miracles I've missed being a part of because of my blindness...