Happy Father’s Day (but skip the gifts)!

I can’t resist sharing something I read as a young dad that was very helpful as I first attempted to change my kid’s (cloth) diapers. It was written by baseball legend Jimmy Piersal in 1968: “Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Put first base and third together, bring home plate up and pin the three together. Of course in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start over again.” By the way, I did get rained out a week ago when I was changing my grandson. Anyway- My dad died when I was a junior in College and I have felt a hole in my heart ever since, like The Little Lost Boy by William Blake (1792): “Father! father! where are you going? O do not walk so fast. Speak, father, speak to your little boy, Or else I shall be lost.” The night was dark, no father was there; The child was wet with dew; The mire was deep, & the child did weep, And away the vapour flew. When I got married at twenty-four and became a dad at twenty-seven, I felt a little like Bill Cosby who said, Continue reading “Happy Father’s Day (but skip the gifts)!”

Kissing is a Choice

Valentine’s Day advertisements this week were filled with kisses which got me to doing a little research. The word “to kiss” in the Anglo-Saxon, German, and Dutch is related to the word “to choose.” There is a deliberateness implied in the very nature of the word. It is also interesting that in almost every culture, kissing has something to do with breathing, or the sucking in of air- stay with me here. Even in those cultures which rub noses or faces instead of kissing, there is still the intake of air which accompanies the act. Apparently this is related to the ancient belief that a person’s soul or spirit is contained in the breath, Continue reading “Kissing is a Choice”

What Do You See When You See?

Do we see each other? What I mean is, when we look at each other do we really “see” each other? Have you ever had the experience of looking at a restaurant menu yet not really seeing it until you got down to business and made yourself focus? It is often the case when we deal with one another. “Hey, how are you doing?” “Oh, I’m fine, thanks.” “Great!” You know those conversations we have in the church lobby which seem to epitomize much of what we have come to know as “fellowship.” We look at each other, but really don’t see each other. I thought of this because of a story I read in the Chicago Tribune about an older gentleman who was found frozen to death in his home last winter. His name was John Pietraszek and he lived alone with twenty cats on the South Side, in the same house where he grew up. He was a friendly but reclusive 80-year old man who never allowed anyone into his home. Continue reading “What Do You See When You See?”