I get by with a little help from my friends. Today I get by with the help of a friend who went home to be with the Lord more years ago than I care to remember. So, for the final Καθολικός διάκονος traditio to end the first decade of the new millennium I look to Rich Mullins' Alrightokuhhuhamen. My oldest son was in a traffic accident Sunday evening driving home from the Cathedral after attending the final Mass at which I was preaching. He's okay, but our van was totalled in the five car pile-up, for which he was not responsible and blessed to be uninjured. I am going to be a Dad again to a little boy who, judging from yesterday's ultra-sound, is developing just fine. I learned late last week that my Dad has cancer, a tumor that has metastasized, thus spreading the cancer to his bones and that he has a compression fracture in his back. Frankly, I don't whether to cry for sadness or joy.
"Well the Lord said let man choose and man did
Well, there's been sorrow and trouble in the world ever since
But there's hope for us still in the Word God says
If we just be smart enough to just say yes
Smart enough to say yes to Him and say Alrightokuhhuhamen"
Or in some of the most wise words ever spoken: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:12). One more time- Alrightokuhhuhamen!
I am struck by these words of Eugene Peterson, someone who has influenced my spiritual development as much as any one: "When nothing we can do makes any difference and we are left standing around empty-handed and clueless, we are ready for God to create. When the conditions in which we live seem totally alien to life and salvation, we are reduced to waiting for God to do what only God can do, create." Jesus, I trust in You now more than ever and, while I am beggar, a bum and, like Rich, a raggamuffin, I am not like Beckett's tramps, who wait in vain.
So, I'll catch you on the other side of midnight. Enjoy New Year's Eve.