Thursday, December 07, 2006

Daily Absurdities

Every day has its own little absurdities, moments when you realize that, if you could see yourself through another person's eyes you just might have to laugh mercilessly at, well... you. One of life's great pleasures, then, is to find those absurdities and laugh at them, saving the world from having to laugh at you, allowing them to laugh with you. My last two days have produced such marvelous absurdities that I couldn't help but notice them.

Yesterday I finally finished my long anticipated lecture/forum series on Homosexuality and the Church. I'd been slated to finish the series Wednesday, Nov. 15, but I had my wrist surgery the day before and was in no condition to try to give an hour long lecture. Yesterday was the next open date on the Forum calendar, so, being in charge of our Forums, I slid myself into the opening.

Given some extra time between when I was to give the final installment and when I would actually present, I decided to pick up a new resource and try to fit it into the presentation. With great pleasure I found Daniel A. Helminiak's What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality at Half Price Books from $3.98. A book I want at a price I can afford! I thought to myself while metaphorically turning cartwheels through the store.

But owning a resource and actually doing the difficult work of fitting material from it into an already completed presentation are two totally different things. By this past Sunday I still hadn't actually opened the book to see if I could use any material from it.

Every Sunday morning I take what my wife's grandmother might call a "whole heap" of books with me to church. For my Sunday School class I use three different Bibles, and I often bring a couple of other books to use as resources. Since I broke my wrist I've been unable to carry this heap of books in my usual haphazard way, so I've finally had to become more efficient. Instead of trying to fit four or five large hardback books along with various loose pieces of paper filled with the reckless ramblings I call my notes under my arm, I now fill up a plastic grocery bag with them, and carry that stylish man-purse in my fully functional (if incompetent) left hand. One Sunday when the bag split open, spilling its contents onto the busy street in front of the church, I decided that I needed to start double bagging.

This past Sunday, along with my usual assortment of Bibles, I carried Helminiak's book with me to church, hoping against hope that in some down moment I could start navigating my way through it. Of course I didn't get that moment, and never thought about the book until I got home, emptied my bag only to discover that the book wasn't in it.

I spent as much free time as I had Sunday, Monday and Tuesday searching for the lost book, only by yesterday to give up the hunt. I guess I wasted my precious $3.98, I lamented.

Adam (how'd he get into this story?!?) goes to the preschool where my wife has built and runs a program for autistic children. Each morning he rides to work with her, and then I pick him up just before noon. Sitting in what they call the "car pool" line waiting for him to appear, I spotted my wife's car (it's actually my car, but since it's a stick shift, and I have only one good hand at the moment, she drives it while I'm stuck with the minivan!) and had an epiphany. Perhaps (why didn't I think of this sooner?!?) the book fell out of the bag in the car! Perhaps it is sitting patiently under the seat, waiting for me to rescue it!

I bolted out of my still running minivan, darted across the parking lot, ripped open the car door, and started rummaging under the seat. And, presto!, I found the book. I jumped up and down for joy, and skipped across the parking lot to my abandoned van, stopping along the way to dance a triumphant jig, holding my conquest high above my head. At that moment I realized that, maybe I'm paranoid, but, all eyes are on ME! I was fully engaged in a moment of absurdity.

Winter is finally upon us. It is cold and snowy this morning, and while the snow is supposed to clear out soon, the cold has set in for a long stay. The problem is, as much as I love cold and snowy weather, my winter coat simply won't fit over my cast. At least that's what I thought. But since the weather has been mostly mild so far, I've lacked the motivation to use all of my vigor in my attempts to slip my worthless appendage through the narrow coat sleeve. Now, however, I've found my motivation. It is cold.

So this morning, as I got ready to put Adam in the car after we'd marveled through the frosty window at the veritable winter wonderland that has temporarily replaced our front yard, I decided I absolutely need to find a way to fit into my coat. I thrust my right arm through the tight sleeve, got stuck at the wrist, pushed myself red in the face, and finally, gasp, squeezed my way through.

So now I'm wearing my coat. Inside the house. All morning. Now what? I haven't showered yet, and I'm wondering how I'm going to get to shower if I can't find my way out of this coat. Another moment of absurdity.

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