Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Waiting Game (a fictional account by Josephine)

Waiting is a difficult thing for me, but apparently not for many people that I follow in line at the grocery store. They must not know about that little gadget that sits right in front of them as they wait for the checker to scan their groceries. As soon as their first item is scanned, theoretically they could swipe their ATM card or even their credit card (which is faster since they don't have to enter a p.i.n.) and payment is done. Fin. Ende. Or they could pay cash and the only wait would be to receive their change, which often speeds down that silver slide and makes that cool *clanging* sound. Theoretically.

But since we don't live in a "theoretical" world I end up behind that lady who waits until the very last item is scanned to begin looking for her checkbook, which ends up being at the most far reaches of her purse. I get to watch her scrounge around her bottomless pit of a handbag in search of a pen, which she discovers has run out of ink. Upon borrowing a pen and filling out the check, complete with the month written out in its entirety, she must flip through her Rolodex-like check register to record this present transaction before passing the check to the clerk. As I shift my weight to my other leg (since the previous one had gone numb from supporting me in the same position for so long), the checker reminds her that she needs to show her identification when paying with a check. Back to the cavernous abyss of a purse she goes, rummaging for her wallet and attempting to quell the groans of shoppers in line behind her with comments like "I know it's in here somewhere!" (to which I think "It'd better be!"), and it finally emerges. The wallet is thick with old receipts and countless picture windows housing old Glamour Shots, and the theme to Leonard Nimoy's "In Search Of" comes to my mind as I stop counting how many times she pulls out the wrong card. Eventually she presents her driver's license to the checker and I move forward to take my spot (credit card out and in hand, mind you) in front of that payment device, only to have my plans of progression thwarted by the fact that she forgot to sign her check. Writing so slowly as if she's being graded on her penmanship, she finally completes her signature, and is on her way.

So after my first item is passed over the glass I swipe my card and watch my groceries take their place in their own little waiting area until the bagger puts them away. However, I see that the barbeque sauce scans a higher price than what the tag said on the shelves. I notify the checker, who proceeds to ask the bagger to go and double check the price. I am told that this would take a moment, and I say "OK." After all, we're talking about saving a few cents here. And the people behind me in line? Ah, they can wait.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I watched Jedidiah coloring the other day. He grabbed a crayon and went round and round with it, creating a masterpiece of circles. It's such a simple shape - after all, it's one of the first things most children learn to draw - and a familiar one. Circular clocks count our time. We eat off of circular plates. Round wheels on our cars get us to where we need to go. Even round tables are places where friends gather for fellowship or discussion.

I once diagrammed my friendships (I know it sounds impersonal but bear with me) and it turned out to be a series of concentric circles (fellow Target shoppers know exactly what this looks like). One thing that hasn't changed is the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is at my center: "And He looked about in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.'" (Mark 3:34-35) And, of course, Justin has secured his spot just outside of where Jesus has staked His claim.

Many people have been in my inner and outer circles. This is certainly not to say that by "many" I have voted myself Most Popular. Nor does it imply that my inner circle is an exclusive group noteworthy of its own page in the national "Who's Who". Rather, the Lord knows that I am a social person and as such has blessed me with meeting and knowing people who teach me more about Him. I have friends who are constant reminders that I need to seek God in every and all things. I have friends who are examples to me of God's faithfulness and righteousness. I have friends with whom the Lord has called me to share His Truth. These friends may move between the inner and outer circles of my diagram but, nonetheless, they are present in my life and up to this point no one has disappeared (at least none that I am aware of).

The people in these circles should not consider it an honor. Instead, I humbly request their patience with my impatience, their laughter in my sorrow, their beauty from my ashes and their joy with my joy. And by the grace of God I will cling tightly to my crayon and continue to draw round and round with it, creating my masterpiece of circles.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

AP History

Inspiration can come from anywhere. In this case, high school memories of having to write a 3-point essay in 35 minutes every Friday have reminded me how much I enjoy writing. Granted, at the time, it was weekly torture having to prepare a written argument for 10 possible topics in American History, but I realize what a valuable experience it was. I look back at that beer-gutted teacher inappropriately dressed in short shorts and appreciate how strict he was in teaching his students to write properly and effectively. I also appreciate that he sat behind a large podium most of the time.

And just as inspiration comes, it goes. Although having four sons can provide a wealth of material about which to blog, my free time to actually write is inversely proportional to the time it takes to meet their needs, however interesting or entertaining they may be. And while I have the intention of creating articulate streams of thought and works of prose, I expect to be interrupted and my works cut short.

So for now I will refrain from predicting the frequency of my posts, but at least I know that the intent exists. And I also know that I can still crank out an essay debating whether the American Revolution was, in fact, a "revolution" - just give me 35 minutes.