Saturday, May 1, 2021


I have many weaknesses.  As a young father, I would get weak in the knees when my one year old, firstborn daughter begged to go to the park and play by repetitively beseeching with the two word fragmented sentence, “I play. I play. I play.”

I couldn’t help myself…“Why of course! Let’s go to the park and you can play!”

Now, as an old father, I long to have her crawl on my lap and once again beg, “Dada…I play?”  This reveals yet another weakness…I cannot contain the dehydration of my eyes.

Now instead of, “I play.” I hear the words, “What I’d really like dad is to borrow the car keys…see you later can I have them please?”  Oh…wait…that wasn’t her…that was Harry Chapin.

My heart tightens as I look at photos from the past and encounter the times that the memories were created. 

I also have a weakness for delicious food, including but not exclusive to: Peanut M&M’s, peanut butter, trail mix, donuts, venison, pork, beef, chicken...well maybe I should have just said meat.  I love spicy foods…hot wings, chips and salsa (with strong cilantro), chili and cheese dips and spicy sausage wontons. 

This past Christmas season, our family spent a lovely evening at my brother in law’s home, in which he hand crafted some of the most delicious wontons known to mankind.  I am well aware of my weaknesses…and thus, I knew that I would have to practice some restraint.  I chose ahead of time that I would, “Just have one”…which turned into…“Just one…at a time”…which turned into…“Several…at a time.”

I also have a weakness against wastefulness…and when I see only one or two wontons left on a try…they are not worth saving…and yet, they are too valuable to dispose of…thus…I do my duty and “take one for the team” and finish the tray.

These wontons were incredibly perfect.  They tasted so good…and felt soothing sliding down my throat and landing in my belly.  My mouth was left with the perfect blend of residual flavor and heat.  It was heavenly.

Until…it wasn’t.

As we drove home from the evening…there grew an unfortunate turmoil in my lower abdominal regions and began boiling upward.  I had my wife drive so I could hurry into the home and take a fistful of antacids. In this case…the Rolaids did NOT spell relief.  My heavenly moment erupted into a gruesome night of explosions as I hugged the white porcelain bowl, for 8 long hours, begging for God’s mercy.  This has not been an isolated incident as I can recall two other similar experiences in my life.

When I encounter moments like these, I cannot help but recall what I have read in Revelation 10:1-11:13.  This passage depicts a powerful image of an angel standing with one foot on the sea and one foot on the land.  He holds a scroll in his hand which he asks John (the recipient of the vision) to eat.  John eats the scroll…and though the scroll tastes sweet…it leaves his stomach sour.  Sometimes it is hard to understand the sweetness of God’s plan when we see the sourness of sin being judged.  May we come to see that the plan of God is sweet, yet the final destruction of sin…may be very painful to watch or experience.    

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