stray cats, a waiter named Christ, and bumper stickers

It is well with my soul.  I have taken a break from most of what I am reading and am working through Anne Lamott's book, Traveling Mercies.  I like it.  My favorite part has been her explanation of the point of surrender in her own life.  How she felt the presence of Christ following her like a stray cat.  And how at that critical moment, she simply gave up.  Her writing is raw and sometimes strange.  Maybe even sometimes too raw and strange, but somehow I suspect that it not embellished and I admire honesty.  I am in Tampa until tomorrow afternoon.  I always feel like I am operating in a parallel universe when I travel.  And I miss my family.  But my son did get up this morning at 5:00 to eat waffles with me and read the Proverb for the day before I left.  I never got up that early when I was (8), period.  Didn't matter if my dad was going out of town or not. Though I was always excited to see what he'd brought home when he took off for a couple of weeks in Panama.  Three thoughts on this very nice evening, as has become customary.

1.  I met Christ today.  Well, not the one you are probably thinking of.  I decided to have dinner at the Columbia in Ybor City and he was my waiter.  I couldn't resist asking him about his name, and he rather blandly informed me that they had simply shortened his name so it would fit on his tag.  But it reminded me of a great story Wesley Wachob recently told about not knowing when we are entertaining angels. I suspect it is the same with Christ.  We never know for sure when the very unassuming person we are encountering in our common, benign, everyday life, is Christ.  Which puts a completely different spin on things.  Completely different.

2.  Grace has been on my mind.  On my drive over to Gulf Breeze to meet with friends last Thursday, my thoughts were on grace.  As I drove over the bridge, a song on the radio spoke of grace.  And in case the message wasn't getting through, I looked over and the truck slowly passing me had a big ol' bumper sticker with "GRACE" written on it.  Nothing else, just grace.  For some reason as I was reading last night, I thought to tell my bumper sticker grace story to my wife.  Then, within (5) minutes, I turned to the next chapter in the book I was reading, which was titled ... "Grace."  Ok, God.  I'm paying attention.  Honest. 

3.  God willing, the tree house will be completed this weekend.  I am so thankful for the friends who have helped me with the process.  Steve, George, David, Lewis.  It is great having people in our lives who help us build things.  When it is done, I'll get some pictures up of the process.  I hope that it will be the site of a great deal of wild eyed imagination, storytelling, and reading.  Good to have places like that.

I am off to bed.   Travel blessings.

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