Friday, July 31, 2009

Prayers for TJ and His Son

I went to Corpus Christi House in Boise today to fulfill the last 5 hours of my internship for the social justice component of my diaconal training. When I arrived, I learned that there had been a service for a young man who had died there the previous week. At first, I had the impression that he had died on my last shift, but I knew that I had checked the alleys and hadn't seen anyone sleeping in the afternoon heat. Then Henry (the manager, I guess you could say) indicated that he had passed away on Saturday afternoon, not Friday (when I was there).

I thought of all the people who might've been "the one," and I hoped that it wasn't one particular man. It was.

TJ was about 26 years old, and he came to the day shelter with his 5-year-old son. They looked like a matched set, and he was perhaps the most attentive parent in the shelter. He never left his son in someone else's care from what I recall, and he always kept an eye on him, concerned that some of the "creepies"* might be around. Under the circumstances, he was a model parent (obviously to a degree). He was also very polite and disciplined compared to most of the clientele at the shelter.

Anyway, it was TJ who apparently died in the afternoon heat of a drug overdose. His son has gone back to Iowa either to live with his mother (a recovered drug abuser) or his grandparents. He left behind the only parent he's ever known.

I noticed that many of the younger male clients at the shelter seemed a bit more subdued today--perhaps a bit more aware of their mortality. I think of one fellow in particular whose "wife" gave birth prematurely to a baby just 5 weeks ago. I wonder what he might be thinking and what prospects he has for his life and for the life of his wife and child. For the first time in his very short adult life, I think he might actually be considering the prospects.

Please pray for TJ and his son, and for all of those on the street who want to have a better life.

*sex offenders

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Facebook Experiment

For those of you who are my Facebook friends, welcome to my personal soapbox. Or maybe it's more of a podium? Anyway, this is where I post longer comments, essays, requests, and reminiscences. I may just shock and horrify you by what I've written here. Or maybe I'll just make you titter a bit.

For my blog followers (all seven of you, and those few that drop by periodically), we'll see how this goes.

By the way, my knuckles are healing up nicely. Between the two workout regimens, I'm actually feeling pretty worn out. Sort of reminds me of another of my favorite Far Side comics. There's this cowpoke holding his friend, who is riddled with arrows. The latter says to the former, "Yeah, it hurts, Clem, but it hurts in a good way."

Oh yes, I'm a little weird that way.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why my knuckles look like this...

I was in a meeting with a potential client and a potential business partner (PBP), and after everything was done, the PBP and I were talking, and we somehow got on the subject of self-defense. I mentioned that I had been training for about 19 years, but that I'd recently started training in Krav Maga. He smiled and said, "I teach it."

A business relationship made in Heaven (perhaps literally).

Anyway, he had looked across the table at my knuckles, noticed the scrapes and scabs on my knuckles, and thought, "That guy punches stuff." His kids even trained under the person who is training me. Sometimes, I just love how small this valley is. (By the way, Mark, this family comes out of the Nampa/Greenleaf way.)

I have to say it's a bit humbling to start a new art after nearly 20 years of practice. You learn what you don't know and what you've let fall to the wayside.

This particular method was designed to train the IDF in close-combat fighting. Some of the techniques I find rather bizarre because of the way I've been trained to date, but I've also found much to challenge me. There's no point in training a new style if there isn't anything for me to learn. I also like that the method doesn't attempt to mix in quasispirituality in with combatives training.*

By the way, your prayers and good thoughts apparently got me over hurdle one. I have a pre-employment interview with a local police department to determine whether they will accept me as a reserve officer. I'm a bit unsure which direction I need to take, or whether I need to chose a direction but rather a path (that is, choose one path and forfeit the other or wend my way along each until both goals are eventually met). Please pray for my discernment. Also, I want to let you know that Gina is doing well and getting back to normal. We haven't given up hope on adding a new addition, but we will accept God's plan as it is.

*I'm not at all dismissing that some martial arts have spiritual dimensions that are useful or effective in self-defense. However, as a Catholic Christian, I don't believe that Taoist or Cha'an Buddhist practices will help me be any better than my own own devotional practices will.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Your prayers, please

For two reasons...

We seem to be getting the green light to continue in diaconal formation. I'll be submitting an official request to our bishop for consideration. Please pray for our discernment for this vocation.

On a sad note, Gina had a miscarriage earlier this week. It takes me a while to process these things, and I was just beginning to grasp the notion that I might have a son or another daughter soon. Gina is dealing with more than just the emotional impact. When we went in for the ultrasound on Tuesday, we were thinking we might be facing a multiple birth. However, that was not the case, and there are some additional issues we'll have to consider going forward if we want to conceive again. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.