The Chair at the Desk in the Oval Office is for Christian Asses Only


Tonight I went on a conference call with a bunch of people I don’t know. The call was set up to give us an opportunity to talk about spiritual matters and about how applying certain principles in our lives is changing them (or not). The meeting was decidedly secular and not based in any single religion. In fact, there were even agnostics and atheists on the call. I’ve come to be aware of how much discrimination (even subtle discrimination) is faced by people who are not convinced about the existence of a god of any sort or people who outright do not believe in God. No matter what race or religion you belong to in America, if you say the right things (and more importantly, have enough money) there is the possibility that you might be able to become president one day but can you imagine Americans electing a president who doesn’t believe in God at all? Wait a minute, I can’t even imagine Americans electing a president who’s not Christian! What must that feel like to Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists, et al? When I start exploring the finer points of various religions, I think in fact that I’d be more comfortable with an atheist in the Oval Office than I would be with someone who believes, for example, that women should subject themselves to their husbands or that Buddhists and Jews are headed to Hell when they die unless they accept the atoning blood of Jesus for remission of their sins. Who do I want to have the launch codes for our nuclear arsenal? That’s a no-brainer. Speaking of launching, how did I get launched into all that? Oh yeah, the call.

So I listened to people talk about their lives and about how applying certain principles is helping them. I heard about some daily struggles that sounded very familiar.  When it came time for me to share, I talked about the fact that I had just left the hospital tonight and about what all is going on with Mom. I shared about my shame regarding some of the self-medicating behaviors I still engage in even though I really would prefer not to– an attempt at self-soothing when I’m facing a lot of psychic pain lately. I got really honest with the group and with myself about just how terrified I am to go through what I’m facing with Mom.

I am very, very close to my mother. Everyone who knows us could verify that. It has always been that way too. I may push away as much as I might be able or try to focus on the things she’s done that I don’t agree with, but in fact those are just feeble attempts on my part to convince myself that I could survive her death. I don’t even like to see my mother suffer, much less think of being without her. You know, there is a chance that the trajectory could change– that she could once again be well and living on her own in the new apartment we have rented for her in Auburn. I’m trying to just keep my focus on that possibility, praying for it in fact. My idea is that if she can be near her grandchildren and be involved in their lives, then it will give her a reason to live. Right now, she’s just hold up in this house like it’s a cave and never seems to want to go out or do anything. Well, actually right now she’s in Princeton hospital because the pain of her fractured pelvis, after a week since her fall, had just become unbearable. I’m glad she’s there and hope they can help her get on the mend.

Tonight in the hospital, I told Mom how grateful I am to her for encouraging me with regard to my imagination and creativity. It’s where I am most confident in my life. What had made me start thinking about it is a video that my brother sent me of his daughter Gracie running the 800 meter. It was her best time yet and now she’s heading to state competition! I had to be in Birmingham with Mom so Chad sent me the video so I could at least see Gracie run that way. She flies along the ground like an antelope. The best part of the video for me though was that I could hear my brother yelling for his daughter, cheering her on with all his might. It was a beautiful thing to hear. I actually watched the video for the first time at the gym and I wonder how long it took them to mop up my tears underneath the bench press. That was on my mind when I was sitting by Mom’s hospital bed tonight. That’s what reminded me to tell her thanks. I’m glad I got that opportunity. I know that she is proud of my professional successes and I wanted to make sure she knows that I give her a lot of credit for my confidence in those areas.

I hope she sticks around to witness a few more successes. I’m not ready to do it without her.

See y’all tomorrow.

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