Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Men in My Life

A few weeks ago, I took advantage of a free evening to visit a new church. While I was sitting alone in a pew waiting for the service to start, the Pastor walked up to me asked my name, and then said, "Are you married?"
"No." I said.
"We'll have to fix that." He said, as if I'd said I had a leaky faucet or a hole in my garage door.
Now, if you ask me, being single is not exactly synonymous with being broken. I guess he's of the mindset, "if it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is."
Pastor Stevens is only one in a long line of well meaning (or just nosy) people who ask about the men in my life...and some times try to go a step futher...
Since I greatly appreciate the efforts of all friends and family members to help me find someone to fix my garage door, I thought I'd make it easy for you and answer the "is there a man in your life question" with something besides my usual...

Of course, there's a guy who I love and who I'd do just about anything for. He's a cute blond, he has blue eyes and a winning smile. He's had my heart for about a year and a half now...I guess it will be two years on April 22 when he turns two. I guess that means he's a little too young to be fixing garage doors. Since he's my nephew I guess he's out of the running anyway.

But as long as we're talking about guys who are not in the running, I'll tell you about the friendly man next door. He came over to find out if the possum he trapped in his garage was mine. He had already "gotten rid" of it, but I didn't need to worry about it too much because he had handled the matter humanely. What a relief.

Yancey. Now there's someone who greatly influenced my life. He laid my kitchen and bathroom floors for me. He called me "honey" and darling," but he was married, and a tattoo-covered, cigarette-smoking kind of guy to boot.
He left his impression one day when I went by the house to see how work was progressing and he informed me that my shoes were ugly. They were fairly new and they were comfortable and practical, but I guess there is just no fogiving ugly. I never wore those shoes again.

Then there is...well...lets just call him our office tech guy. He comes in more often them we would like because our computers beak down more often than we would like. He has an afro and can't sit at my desk to work because he doesn't fit in my chair. He likes to make sure I understand each problem that arises and what he did to fix it. When he talks, it sounds to me like asdf jkl wiojkl jfkl;; awidkc jklwekjfd fjklsdf gjkldfg jfiewfkc cjklfkjew jklfgjkfld fjkleidk sjdfkl.

Then there is Nathaniel. He took me out for fondue over Thanksgiving weekend. I guess you would have called it a date if he wasn't my cousin. We had fun dipping strawberries in a bowl of chocolate and talking about his friend's sister who can't stand to drive with a car window down because she is deathly afraid of flying out the window.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea...there are plenty of men in my life and I'm learning to enjoy it, such as it is. In fact, being single gives me opportunites for all kinds of mischief.

For example, this week I received a card in the mail that I put on my desk at work. It is pink and has a nice spray of roses with the words "Please give me another chance" on the front. You should see the eyebrows it raises and the people who try to nonchalantly sneak a peak at it when they think I'm not looking. What a surprise they have in store for them when they find out it's from the phone company.

So anyway...I hope this helps satisfy your curiousity...or at least wets your appetite. And if you really want to help, feel free to send me another card to put on my desk. The more romantic the better.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Morning in Charleston...

I drive over the Ashley River every morning on my way to work. This morning it was overcast and there was a light sprinkle of rain coming down. But just as I went over the river, I noticed a small break in the clouds. Our brave little sun was shining through. I could see it across the water, just a bright yellow spot in the large, gray sky.

In moments, I was over the bridge, and I couldn't see it any longer. I was on my way to work...I had things to get done.

My day seemed to have taken its cue from the dismal weather. It was dreary, dull, and long. It was like the drive to work - but without the bright spot.

So that's when I made the decision: Danielle, you be the bright spot. I wasn't the only one having a difficult day, in fact, mine was easy compared to some. So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to take a new challenge.

Smile. Be grateful. Be glad. Be the the bright spot shining down over the river.

My resolved lasted until, Oh, about 10:00 am the following morning when my world fell apart (a phrase which herein means, "I received a call from a client informing me that I had made a big mistake on a project.") So much for the sun.

So...the world was gray, dark, big, and ugly until, Oh, about 1:00 pm when a friend made themselves a bright spot in my life. I don't know that their day was going any better than mine, but they had resisted the temptation to be dreary.

Today, the sun is shining and the sky is blue, but I don't think that's any excuse not to strive to be a bright spot in someone else's life. I think that's what Jesus would do.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"Life is Like a Roll of Toilet Paper"

It was an otherwise uneventful trip to Dallas. Granted, I was only there for one night and the hotel we'd picked turned out to be a major loser. But, even if I'd tried a little harder, I still don't think I would have enjoyed that city.

But there was one redeeming factor. My boss and his wife, whom I was traveling with, had been in contact with author and theologian Dr. Charles Ryrie. They called him up and asked if he was interested in going to dinner with us.

I guess I've not spent true leisure time with any renown pillars of the Church (or whatever you'd title someone like Dr. Ryrie), and I don't know what I was expecting to see. He was a dignified man, around 80. Not stuffy, not conceited, more than willing to spend some time with a few blood-shot out-of-towners like us.

He took us to one of his favorite restaurants. It was an Italian place not far from his house. I probably let out a little gasp when I saw the menu. Maybe, I thought, Dallas uses pesos. But I didn't think so.

A few other people there stopped to talk to him, but for the most part, it was a quiet dinner. We talked a little about his teaching and traveling ministries, his grandchildren, and his books. He made us feel more than comfortable. I worked up the courage to ask him to sign my Bible - even though it didn't have the word Ryrie on it. By then end, we were feeling at ease enough to split chocolate cake.

After dinner, he invited us upstairs to his home. It was a quite place, full of art and other curiosities. He had shelves of books and they weren't the type thing you see in Christian book stores today. They were mostly "classic" theology. Browsing around his house made me realize how much material for study the Bible has in it and how little I've read.

There are an incredible number of books he has authored. He gave Curtis and Jenny each a book. He gave me a copy of "Miracles of Jesus" and signed that for me too.

Dr. Ryrie said one particularly noteworthy quote. "Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the quicker it seems to go by."

There's a lot you can say about a quote like that, but I'll end with this, I think someone who has devoted that much of their life to the study and application of Scripture has nothing to fear from the end of the roll. And as my life gets slowly used up, I hope I spend lots of it with men like Dr. Ryrie and not much of it in Dallas.