This morning, I was washing dishes and had my back turned to my four-year-old, who was coloring. “Daddy, I can make a ‘V,’” she said.
I have an agnostic friend named Ben who regularly peppers me with politely-antagonistic questions about my faith. For example, the other day, he asked me whether I really believed what the Bible said about Jesus’ life.
I wasn’t looking to be freaked out. It was 3:30 a.m., I had been working for over 22 hours, and I had to drive 45 minutes to Starkville, Mississippi. All I wanted was sleep. While driving down the foggy, pitch-black highway, I turned on a talk radio show where the host was discussing whether kids should play with BB guns. I have a strong opinion on the topic, so when the host invited callers to respond, I picked up my cell phone and called.
So I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about a non-life-threatening, chronic medical condition I have and its impact on my spiritual journey. But I’ve been avoiding it for months, because I don’t want to publicly share the details of my medical history. So I came up with a solution: let’s just pretend I’ve got a nail in my head, right under the surface – a nail doctors can’t remove without damaging my brain. Quite frankly, it’s been more annoying than anything – but, believe me, it has been really annoying.
My father, David, was younger than me when his first wife left him for another man (note: my father’s first wife was not my mother). It was 1974, and the implosion of their marriage was messy, leaving him bitter and questioning his faith. Sitting in the passenger’s seat as his father drove down the highway, he vented his frustrations and eventually began railing against God.
Last week was painful for my wife and me. In a span of 24 hours, life dealt us a couple of hard blows, and when it was over, we could hardly stand up. Although I normally ride the bus, on Thursday I asked my wife to take me to work. I felt stressed and wanted to spend a little more time with her and our baby. She agreed to do so, and I agreed to feed the baby in the back seat.
I was a poor law student living on $300 a month, and as soon as I saw the police cars down the road, I instinctively put my foot on the break. I couldn’t afford a ticket. It was just a police checkpoint though. I slowed down, stopped beside the officer, and handed him my driver’s license. He furrowed his brow. “You’re going to need to pull over. Your license is expired,” he said, writing me a $50 ticket.