That's Life

by Dee Bowman

I WAS MAKING MY HOSPITAL CALLS just like a good preacher ought to do. I left the hospital with a feeling of exultation— the kind that comes from knowing you have done what you’re supposed to do. As I drove out of the parking lot I said a little prayer for the patients I had just visited and thanked God for the privilege of doing what little I could. Suddenly a lady pulled right out in front of me, slid her brakes, and said some very nasty things to me. I retaliated. Under my breath I said something about how that she was not the only one in the parking lot and for her to shut her mouth. I then returned to the prayer I was saying. As I reached the stop sign, it suddenly occurred to me that in the midst of very religious circumstances I had been very irreligious. Have you ever done that?

IT SEEMS TO ME that a shoe is easier to shine when it’s on your foot. I don’t know what that proves, except that maybe a thing is more easily cared for when it’s being used for the thing for which it was intended.

WHILE I WAS IN PLAINFIELD, INDIANA recently, I had breakfast three mornings in a row with three sisters (two of them were married to brothers). They were all very gracious ladies and their husbands were fine. The meals were all delicious. But do you know what was the most interesting thing? The gravy tasted exactly the same at all three places! Don’t ever underestimate the power of your raising.

I HAD A DISCUSSION WITH A YOUNG MAN one time who claimed that he was an atheist. ”I don’t believe the Bible, either,” he said. “Have you ever read the Bible,” I asked. “No,” he replied, “but l still don’t believe it.” It has been my experience that most folks who say that are just exactly like the young man, they don’t believe it even though they have never read it. Something’s wrong with that kind of reasoning, don’t you think?

FROM MY JOURNAL, October 22, 1983: “Lord’s Day morning. Behind the motel where I am staying is a small lake. It mirrors the partly cloudy skies and its glassy surface shows the stillness of the morning. The birds seem almost playful as they dart away only to quickly return to their perch. Across the little lake and up a gradual slope there is a red barn, striving to stay up and providing, because of its courage to endure, a connection to the generation just past. It is a beautiful Lord’s Day morning.

But how much more beautiful must have been the first one. With what colors the sun must have burst forth on that day! What light—great spreading light—must have come on that glorious morning when the Lord was raised. What gentleness must the breeze have had and what fragrances must have ridden its wings to perfume the morning air that day. If all creation mourned just three days ago at His death, what exultation must have been concerted on the day of His resurrection. Oh, glorious day when man’s hope first came!”

ED HARRELL DRESSES DIFFERENTLY THAN I DO.
We often kid about it. He says I wear “slick” suits. Recently we were in San Jose, California together. There had been some discussion about the aforementioned ”slick” suits in some of his introductions. when it came my turn to speak, I said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I have this thing figured out: If I had Ed Harrell’s mind and my  slick suits, there’s no telling what I could do.” I should have known better. When it came his time to speak again he said, curtly, “I’d like to remind my esteemed colleague that if he had my mind he wouldn’t want his slick suits!” Concession came soon. Oh, well, that’s life.

CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE  FEBRUARY, 1984