Saving Snobol

When we lived in an urban neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio, we began, for reasons unknown to me, to feed the cats which populated our neighborhood. Every morning one of us would take food and water out for our ghetto kitties, the number of which ranged from three to ten, and sometimes higher.

Mind you, none of this is my fault. Somewhere along the way the woman I married became the crazy cat lady. It was a slow transformation, almost imperceptible. You go along with your life, married to the same woman for more than thirty years, and you think you know your spouse. Then BLAMMO–she’s the crazy cat lady. And then, to add insult to injury, I find myself feeding the furry little con artists. How do these things happen?

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A Wasted Day

In A Movable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s brilliant memoir of his years in Paris as part of the “lost generation,” the author makes an astounding statement. Actually, the entire account is full of astounding statements because it is, after all, Hemingway.

At one point, he is held captive by F. Scott Fitzgerald, whom he refers to simply as “Scott.” I say captured because Mr. Fitzgerald (which is how I refer to him) was apparently a hypochondriac and subjected Hemingway to all manner of silly requests and feigned emergencies. At one point, the author says,

“I was getting tired of the literary life, if this was the literary life that I was leading, and already I missed not working and I felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life.”

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I recall seeing pictures of World War II concentration camp survivors when I was a small child. Horrified, my young brain could not process the images of men whose bodies were just skeletons covered with skin, men whose eyes bespoke unimaginable suffering and immeasurable sadness. The pictures frightened me, sickened me, evoked a deep visceral reaction that remains to this day. I am being quite literal when I say that I can’t imagine what it was like to live through it.

In Night, Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel tells us. Late in 1944, when it appeared that the Allies would be victorious in World War II, Wiesel and his family were displaced from their home in Transylvania and moved to Auschwitz.

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Go And Tell My Brothers

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I never tire of hearing the story of the resurrection. It’s the story of my salvation. Without the resurrection I have no hope and my life has no meaning. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

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Elise’s Story

It’s 7:25 a.m. and the temperature is fifty degrees. Clad only in our running shorts and singlets, we huddle together like Emporer penguins, desperate to stay warm. We are impatient for the race, the inaugural Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon, to begin, but officials have delayed the start to wait for late arriving busloads of runners. I’m surrounded by bucolic vistas and verdant vineyards, but I don’t even notice them. More than just being cold, I’m a nervous wreck. This is my first half marathon and for some reason I was confident I’d be able to finish–until I stepped off the bus. When my feet touched the gravel and I saw the hundreds of runners waiting to start a 13.1 mile trek through the Virginia countryside, I suddenly realized I was going to have to actually run this thing. My confidence plummeted.

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