Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Okie Dokie and You Betcha

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

Okie Dokie and You Betcha.

We made it to Duluth Minnesota.

We left Fargo yesterday morning and within five minutes we were in the middle of construction gridlock. As I sat there looking at all the people headed in the same direction at the speed of nothing, I could not help but think about lemmings. Lemmings are an interesting creature that once every few years all head out together in a mass and end up jumping off a cliff. I thought about how we all looked like a bunch of lemmings. A massive sea of vehicles and people. I hoped there wasn't a cliff at the end.

I often wonder about lemmings.

Do the ones in the middle of the lemming gridlock know there is a cliff at the end? Or are they just going along with the flow with a great big surprise at the end.

Somehow I do not think there is a big a difference between us and lemmings.

After a bit traffic opened up. There wasn't a cliff after all. Before we knew it, we were in Minnesota.

You know you are in the North Woods when you see a wolverine on the side of the road. I know you are asking yourself, "Wolverine! I wonder how many wolverines it takes to make Roger nervous?"

The answer is just one.

One wolverine is all it takes to make me think, "Hey, there is a wolverine on the side of the road and my leg is hanging out right there for him/her to chomp on."

We didn't have wolverines in Kansas, but we did have badgers.

Once a badger made a nice little home near our house in Kansas. I learned that it takes more than one cup of coffee in the morning for a badger to get rid of the morning grumps. It would come out of its hole when I would walk by, kind of like a bullet, and do its waddle-run. (If you had ever seen a badger run, you would know what I am talking about.) Of course, this would make me run and I would be yelling over my shoulder, "Stop badgering me!"

I am convinced that is where the saying came from.

Wolverines and badgers.

Don't mess with them.

We passed the wolverine. I am sure I was quite the sight, Chuck in front, me in the back with my legs over my head. Chuck never saw the wolverine. Good thing, it is hard to drive a motorcycle with your legs over your head.

Minnesota is a beautiful state, we rode along driving past towns like Baxter, Brainard, Deer Lodge...

We came over the top of a hill and all of a sudden there is Lake Superior.

Chuck says, "It looks like the ocean."

I reply, "I told you so."

When Chuck had mentioned that he had never been to the Great Lakes I said, "It looks like the ocean."

Chuck said, "Really?"

I said, "Really, it does."

Somehow it feels good to say, "I told you so." Must be my humanness coming out.

We checked into our room and went for a walk. We stopped by the YMCA that was close to us and took a tour. It's a "Y" thing. We "Y'rs" tend to tour other "Y's" when we see them. I guess it makes us feel more at home somehow.

I told them that I work for the "Y" in Washington and they said they needed to check to see if it was true. It made me think, "Do a lot of people come to their "Y" and say, "Hey, I work for the Y, let me in."

They checked on me, found out that I was a chaplain at YMCA. They were curious as to how that worked out. They had the typical concerns about inclusiveness and not being pigeonholed. We had a great conversation about not beating people over their heads with a Bible and how chaplaincy is about right relationships and being there for people during times of need. When I shared what chaplaincy is all about, it made them wish they had a faith component too.

The YMCA in Duluth is a great place, doing many great things.

After our tour I could not help but think of my YMCA. I called my home "Y" just to make sure that everything was okay. When I left for the trip we had a elderly woman in ICU. A lifeguard saved her life when she had a stroke in our pool. A family worried about their mother. We also have people with no place to live, people out of work...our "Y" helps lots of people.

Later Chuck and I took a walk on the boardwalk. As we walked along, a woman came up and asked if I had any spare change. I reached into my pocket and gave her some change. A person walking behind us, more Lemming visuals, came up and asked, "Why did you give her money?" I said, "I did for one what I wished I could do for all."

That baffled him.

Sometimes, when Christ nudges me to something, it doesn't make sense to people right away. Maybe this person will get it someday.

Or maybe, he will be like a wolverine, trying to chomp on a leg when it presents itself.

I don't want to be a wolverine.

I know I don't want to be a lemming.

Lemmings and wolverines: two creatures that are wonderful in their own right...but not for me.


1 comment:

  1. Love it, love it, love it. How beautiful to be able to do for one, if we all did that, the all might be taken care of.