Flotsam and Jetsam

A few unresolved thoughts from Monday, as I sit at the kitchen table and feast on avena (as it was known in my house as a child), toast with jam and organic coffee:

  • I suppose I’m such an outspoken critic of injustice because I watched my mother practice this principle for all of my life. My brothers and I used to joke that she had a habit of “collecting” people, the way a person collects stamps or antiques. Rare was the Sunday she went to church without a bag of clothes or books for a family less fortunate than ours. She still does this, even though she suffers from arthritis, two fused discs and fibromyalgia. This is why I get so angry when people who could do something to ease the suffering of others instead chose to let someone else do it. She’s been fighting the man for years. Coming to the aid of the underserved and disenfranchised is a tradition I am proud to continue.
  • Three semesters of Greek is nearly finished. I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would. Monday’s lesson focused on the imperative tense. For you language geeks out there (hello? anyone?), the imperative is essentially the same in Greek as it is in English; it is used to express a command. Unlike English, the Greek imperative has a third-person singular/plural imperative. The translation is a little idiomatic, but it basically goes as follows:
    • “Let him (verb),”
    • “He must (verb),”
    • “Have him (verb).”

    Our professor was sick, so he let us out 40 minutes early. I hope he feels better, but being home by 10 p.m. on a Monday was truly a gift.

  • It’s barely May and temperatures are in the high 80s. Today’s predicted temperature is 92 degrees. I did a little pre-season shopping spree in April and bought a few guayaberas to wear with the requisite linen pants. I am Latino. This is what we do. Look stunning in our pressed shirts and trousers, eat mariscos and yell “Eso!” while we watch boxing on pay-per-view with our crew of no fewer than 15 men. It is the path chosen for us by our forbears, a path that has remain unchanged for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.
  • There are a handful of people in my life who have occupied my thoughts for a while. I have given them spiritual counsel and I’m concerned about the lack of follow-through in each case. My concern is that in each case, they are choosing a path that will clearly lead to heartache. It’s difficult to watch but I certainly can’t abandon them in the middle of the process. So I wait, pray and prepare to rush in and help when my calls are returned. In my naivete, I never imagined that the life of a minister-in-training involved so much worry. I can’t stop thinking about them and wondering how they are doing. If this even remotely resembles what God feels when his children cut him out of their lives, He must grieve over us.
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