"Please sign me up for 'Read to me, Daddy' so I can read a book on to tape for my kids. Thanks."
The request was written two days before Christmas. I didn't see it until Sunday, January 3rd, because I'd been on vacation. It has a permanent spot hanging from the shelf right above my desk. It's never going to be answered.
The man who wrote it committed suicide on New Year's Eve.
Just a week before, he'd had some hope, some plans. Things changed.
I look at the note and think how important the present moment is
and how fragile our grasp on now can be
The note reminds me of the shadow side:
I don't always know all the needs
nor can I answer every need
I'm not God
And my greatest spiritual dilemma
Do I trust God to handle things?
I once told one of my younger brothers to stop doing some annoying thing.
Mom was sitting right there, reading the newspaper.
She scolded me.
"I'm right here. You don't have to discipline him."
"But you're not doing anything! Someone has to!"
And that would be me.
And that's how I'm squinting at God most days.
"You're here? But you're not doing anything. Someone has to!"
My lifelong root sin, I'm thinking...