Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The saving power of a rainstorm

One of my close friends has a huge gaggle of kids.  They're a riotous, fun, loud group. It's an intense experience being with them, but they're the happy kind of high-energy, not the mischievous or annoying kind, so I enjoy spending as much time as proximity allows with this fun family.

They had visited my parents a month or so ago while I was at school. They attended church with them on Sunday. Driving home after the services was its usual blend of confusion over which kids were buckled up, juvenile chatter and the like.  They pulled up in front of my parents' home and the kids, noisy as ever, unbuckled and jumped out of the car to play in the oasis that is my mom's backyard. My friends went inside to help with dinner and chat with the grown-ups.

A few moments after they got home from church, a sudden rainstorm hit, not an unusual occurrence in Colorado in late June.  It was a welcome respite from the triple-digit temperatures from the previous several days.

Two hours passed and my mom said she thought she heard a little cry coming from somewhere.  They took a headcount of the children and realized that the three-year-old was missing.  They looked in the playrooms, the dress-up closet, the library (my parents don't actually have a library, but it is a room full of books) and finally the yard.  To my mom's horror, the little tot was still in the Suburban and had been stuck in her car seat since getting home from church.  She had been inadvertently overlooked amid all the noise and commotion and had been crying in the car for the duration.

They unbuckled her, rushed her inside and consoled her as the sheer luck of the situation began to sink in. Had it been one of the warmer days of the summer, she would have been in real trouble, even though the car was parked in the shade.  One rainstorm kept the car cool and her only problems were tear-stained cheeks and a sad little face.  Within 20 minutes, she was healed completely of those wounds, but had it been a day like the day before, she might never have made it.

And what luck that my mother happened to hear crying from inside the car while she was in the kitchen, which sits in the very back of our home.  It was miraculous.

I relate this story because my friend related it to me when I was talking with her about some of my concerns and worries.  She expressed how the moment she realized she'd left a child in a car alone made her feel like an unfit mother (and frankly, it was a moment of unfit parenthood), but the miracle of a rainstorm and a somehow-piercing cry saved the girl (and our families) from a sadder fate.

She said, "GMP, your rainstorm is coming, something that will save you. You're screwing up a lot now, just like all of us, but there's going to be a moment that God sends a rainstorm to cool you down and help you hang on."

I'm so grateful for the miracles our families enjoyed that day and I'm grateful for the interpretation my friend gave me.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Post-Script: Parting

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”
       -Azar Nafisi

This quote is only 25% correct.  I might miss the people I love, but I will not miss the person I am at this time and this place, and I hope to God that I'll never be this way ever again.

This is why I'm excited to leave Rexburg more than anything.  I'm so excited to leave March-July 2013 GMP in the dust, and come noon today, he's dead to me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Parting is such sweet bliss

I usually say that my least favorite thing to do in the world is to back my life into boxes, pack those boxes into my truck and drive, only to to unpack my truck and my life in a new place.  I'm a roots man. I tend to get attached to wherever I am, assuming that it will be where I'll live for the rest of my life.

But not this time.

My previous three months in Rexburg have been some of the worst (if not the) worst of my life.  There were many joys (therapy, work marriage, solo off-roading and motorcycling) but by and large, it's been hell.  I'm not going to blame Rexburg nor its inhabitants, but nonetheless I can't wait to turn my face away from this town and buzz the hell off.

I'll be back at BYU-Idaho in a few months and, God willing, I'll be in my right mind enough to enjoy my last two semesters in what I have been known to believe is the closest thing to heaven on this planet (yes, I'm serious, eastern Idaho is that good).  I'm looking forward to being back and snowboarding in the Tetons, jumping from bridges into the Snake River and exploring the snowy-then-dusty backroads in whatever form of transportation I have. I'm also excited to be here for more than one semester at a time so I can actually make some friends and deepen some relationships.

But for now, I can't wait to get the hell out of here, to leave the first six hellish months of 2013 behind and hope that my Coloradan/Bostonian/Texan horizon is a little better and cleaner and happier and filled with more progress.

Image source: Rexburging

Thursday, July 11, 2013

His grace is sufficient, except for me.

This weekend was a rough one. I made lots of mistakes I'd love to take back. Obviously, it'd be inappropriate to detail them here, but suffice it to say, the worst parts of these mistakes weren't how they made me feel, the worst was how they made others feel.  I crossed boundaries with myself and with others and put people in positions that made them feel cheap and unloved.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A shameless plug for someone who flattered me

I am always so honored whenever I hear of how my story has changed another person.  I don't really like tooting my own horn (blogging on topics like this notwithstanding) but I'm grateful for those people who have reached out to me and helped me along my own spiritual journey as well. So this is a post that goes out to just about everyone who's ever commented, e-mailed, blogged, Facebooked, Buzzed, Blinged, tweeted, plus'd, Grinded (yes, even Grindr can have positive uses [this one's for you, BDA]), WHATEVER, in my direction. Hearing your stories have been a great help to me and I'm so thankful for your support and love.

The most recent example has been White Birch Girl. She is a member of another faith who is not gay, so having her reach out to me was something of an anomaly.  Nonetheless, she is a deeply sensitive woman and she has lots of thoughts worth sharing.

I'm not linking to her because she linked to me. I'm linking to her because I think she has an amazing viewpoint that deserves more attention than it gets.  Her blog is somewhat scattered, which is refreshing. She doesn't post about being a "birch" or being a "girl," she posts on whatever is on her mind.  I appreciate that so much. I especially love her post on suicide and math. She is a thoughtful person, not in that she's considerate (although I'm sure she is), but in that she thinks on things. Check out her blog. It's worth a read.

Photo copyright Susan Sweeny,, via Wikimedia Commons.

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