An older column that raises some interesting questions...
Pandemics, earthquakes, wild weather; I pray that recent events are causing you to look into the Book of Revelation, and towards a relationship with Jesus Christ. Now is the time to make Him your Lord and Savior.
These are just warning signs from God...be prepared.
Back “in the day,” when a person died they were usually laid out for a couple of days at
the funeral home. These viewings gave friends and family members a chance to say good bye,
pray or just to see the deceased one more time. Husbands, wives, and family members would
dutifully stand next to the casket as the condolence line stopped, offered kind words, and said how good the body looked.
However, in today’s fast paced world things are changing. We, thanks to social media,
have lost touch with many of the basic building blocks of a civilized society; the major one
being, the human touch. Obituaries are posting on the internet, and you can sign the virtual guest
book. Too busy? Send a text, email, or sign the previously mentioned guest book.
It is unfortunate that work demands are such, that working less than 50 hours a week get
you frowned upon by your district, or regional, “management team.” If you are part of the great
unwashed, chances are, you’re working two or three part-time jobs, just to make ends meet. No
one has the time to spend with their living friends and family, let alone the ones that have passed
on to a final resting place.
I can imagine a time when a body will be laid out in a drive-thru window, and mourners
can drive by, sign a guestbook, and go about their day. I can see Starbucks opening up a chain of
Starbucks View with a Brew, where the bereaved will be handed a latte, coffee, or frappuccino as
they drive by and pay their last respects. Would McDonald’s, Wendy’s or any other fast food
joint, pass on this opportunity? I think not.
Eventually, viewings could just end up on snapchat. One picture out, one response back.
What could be easier, and more convenient, than a “one and done viewing,” with absolutely no
The cool crisp air startled Joe as he walked out of the house. The dull grey sky and sharp wind drew a contrast of feelings from him. The darkness made him wonder why he was up. The cold wind tore his tired thoughts to alertness.
The crisp white snow gave way to the weight of his brown suede shoes. The snow’s cold clear blood clung to Joe’s shoes, chilling his feet. Joe flipped the collar of his wool coat upward to shield his rosy cheeks from the tearing wind.
Finally he reached his car. Cold numb fingers, fumble small frozen keys.
“Crap,” Joe mumbled as the keys fell to the icy driveway. Bending down, flakes of snow landed on his unprotected neck, forcing goose bumps to rise up. His fingers stiffly grasped the circular key ring.
“Man, it’s cold.”
The key fights to keep itself from the lock in the door. Its teeth grind as Joe firmly pushes the key in with the palm of his hand, then turning. Quickly Joe swings the door open, seeking shelter from the cold. No comfort is given as cold, hard, vinyl seats pierce his blue dress pants. The wipers work furiously against the window as the defrost blows cold air.
Thoughts of going back into the house enter his mind, but it is too late, the commitment has been made.
The blank page stares up at me mockingly, daring me to write something. However, I will not be goaded into writing. I will not be intimidated. I will stand fast. This page will remain blank, in spite of its efforts to force my pen to paper.
In this standoff the hostage will remain frozen in fear, gun to head. I will be nothing more than an idle spectator, waiting to see the result of my inaction. I will refuse to buckle to the demands of the criminal. For in the end, that is what this blank piece of paper is, a criminal. It robs me of my thoughts and words, steals my time as I sit formulating ideas to share.
What is it with people and driving? When the sun is out people drive like nuts, buzzing around and through traffic, reenacting their favorite NASCAR memories. When it rains, drivers seem to lose their minds, and they seem to have a temporary brain cramp when on the road. However, it is the snow that causes people to lose all sense of sanity.
A snowfall brings out several different types of drivers; each one is dangerous in their own right. My favorite, and the one I will be discussing today, is the ‘Story Driver.” This is a person that on a beautiful spring day would refuse to get behind the wheel of his, or her, car, because it is a pain to run to the store. Yet, the first snowflake stirs the call of the wild and a need to bring some much-needed excitement to their lives.
Many years ago, I was working at Shop ‘n’ Save. Our store was on the top of a slag heap, and there was always a twenty mile-an-hour wind blowing. In the summer, you could see tumbleweeds rolling across the parking lot. One winter, a blizzard invaded the Pittsburgh area, the snow was blowing sideways and four foot drifts were covering the parking lot. Government officials were encouraging everyone to stay home. Salt trucks were stranded all over the county, and, needless to say, our store was empty, but open.
We were trying to talk sense to management about closing; when through the window, lights appeared in the parking lot. My God, it was a car. The vehicle stopped, and a bent old man got out and began pushing his walker through the snow. He entered the store and vanished to the produce department. Five minutes later, the guy is at in the checkout line with one avocado. ONE AVOCADO!!
While in line he tells me how treacherous the roads were, about the vehicles off the road, salt trucks stuck, power lines down, and traffic signals that weren’t working. He complained that our parking lot needed plowed and salted, and I should have shoveled and salted the sidewalk in front of the store, not to mention the tennis balls on his walker were soaked. It was the longest five minutes in my life. Add a chaser of perplexed, to the dumb look I’m usually serving up on my face, and you get a real clear picture of my interest and feelings for the Marco Polo of the South Hills.
I watched as he and his avocado, pushed their way through the blowing snow and slush towards his 1983 Buick Regal. I shook my head as his tail lights vanished in the white curtain of snow. In the distance, I could hear the lonely wail of a police siren, and I wondered what one could do with one avocado; although one thought did cross my mind for my snowy shopper…
john Gregory Parks
I only worry about the things I can control; as I control nothing, I have no worries.