It is approximately 1,436 miles as the plane flies from Huntsville, Alabama to Clinica Ezell in Guatemala, but “Señor Gruñon” was making me feel right at home.
I had once again traveled the road to Montellano, Guatemala to participate in an eye surgery medical mission (Code name: “Operación de Ojos Claros) in conjunction with health professionals representing Health Talents International and a team of students from Lipscomb University, the University of Alabama and the University of West Florida.
I was scooting across the poorly-lit, humid waiting room on a stool which reminded me of a shopping cart with one, misdirected rogue wheel and browsing for the biggest, ripest cataracts in all the land, the kind that literally block out the sun like a noonday eclipse.… Read the rest
I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind.
“Dust in the Wind,” Kansas, 1977
Ash Wednesday always makes me think of dust (that’s the point, after all). And I can’t think of dust without thinking of Bobby.
Bobby was one of my best friends at church growing up. He, David and I were either The Three Musketeers or The Three Stooges, depending on who you asked. We often hung out on the elevated front porch of the Roanoke Church of Christ overlooking Brandon Avenue near the “Established in 33 AD” sign.… Read the rest
On January 31, 2011, Eunice Sanborn, widely believed to be the world’s oldest person, died in Jacksonville, Texas at the age of 115–bless her heart. She handed off the baton to Besse Cooper, 114, who was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee on August 26, 1896. Bless her heart too.
And let’s not forget to bless Frank Buckles while we’re at it. A veritable pup in comparison–he turned 110 on February 1st–Frank is the sole remaining US veteran of World War I, the Last American Doughboy (what cohort of uber-humans, pray tell, comes before The Greatest Generation?).
When the three of them, squirming, grunting, caterwauling little bundles of joy and raw, “FEED ME!”… Read the rest
but no human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
The first time I read that verse was on a the cover of a tract which had been left behind on a shelf inside the pulpit at the Roanoke Church of Christ in the 1960s. We kids weren’t supposed to be playing there, but the adults were too busy talking to notice and the prospect of discovering what mysteries were hidden behind that “holy of holies” was too tempting to pass up.
The tract was fire-engine red and had an animation on the cover depicting a man with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, like a dimply red carpet unfurled.… Read the rest
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
I am sending out this dispatch from Ground Zero of The End of Days, Huntsville, Alabama.
Although I have yet to whip out the measuring stick, there appears to be about 8 inches of snow on my patio. To top it all, tonight Auburn plays for the national championship in college football. It appears the Mayans were almost right, just off by a year.
I’ve slid off icy roads twice in my life. In each case it was around Christmas time and my mother was involved.
The first time was shortly after Christmas 1977. She and I were driving to Roanoke in a blue, 1972 Chevy Impala sedan, heavy as an elephant, but rear wheel drive. Most likely we were aiming to exchange some presents or burn up some gift cash at a post-Christmas sale.
I had my learner’s permit, and we had just covered “steering into the skid” in my driver’s ed lecture. I was eager to convert all that theory to some practical experience on the fresh veneer of slick, blue ice which covered the roads around our house and glistened invitingly in the mid-morning winter sun.… Read the rest
Recently a Church of Christ friend of mine wrote to me and said that he was considering attending an Episcopal Church Christmas Eve service and that he was a little intimidated by the prospect of having to walk forward and take communion. Could I help out?
Oh yes. Yes I can. Glad you asked.
First off, let me say this: Dude’s got guts. Most Church of Christers I know have never even set foot inside another church except for weddings and funerals. Some may have been taught that “they’re it” and if there’s nobody else out there, why bother? Or even if they don’t believe that, they still feel as if they might be betraying their parents or now deceased relatives by even associating with other “religious people” Christians in an actual spiritual context, as opposed to something more secular and therefore safer like, say, a NASCAR race at Talledega or a football game in Tuscaloosa.… Read the rest
A friend reminded me of this quote recently as we “tweeted” about the idea that God might actually “take sides” in a football game. Or for that matter, any of the myriad of contests, skirmishes, wars, etc. which we deem so important.
I’ve written on the relationship between college football and religion many times before, most recently here. The key to understanding that last post is that it was intended as pure, 100%, unadulterated parody, designed to poke fun at the very idea that God is a Crimson Tide fan or that God and football mix together in any sort of significant way.… Read the rest
“Name them one by one,” the song says. So here goes:
1. I’m running, not far or fast, but pain-free for the first time in quite a while. I’ve shifted my foot strike from my heel, which is where it’s been since fourth grade, to my forefoot. “Barefooting” as it’s sometimes called. I don’t exactly run barefoot on asphalt (ouch!), but I do use a “minimalist” training shoe, the Nike Free. This is supposed to be more “natural,” the way you were meant to run back in the day when your survival meant eluding a predator such as a saber-toothed tiger or that annoying herd of mastodons that lived over in the next valley.… Read the rest
In the end, there was no “Rammer Jammer,” only a circle of prayer.
Such was the scene at the fifty yard line in the middle of the field of battle surrounded by the towering expanse of Bryant Denny, the Temple of All Things Tide. Crimson clad warriors kneeling with maroon and white gladiators, shoulder-to-shoulder, gloved hand-in-gloved hand, pausing to grieve over and remember one of their own who had fallen, a victim caught up and devoured in the cruel maw of contingency and circumstance.
If there was one thing that world of college football needed after the 24/7 melodrama of Cecil and Cam Newton it was perspective.… Read the rest
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
I recently passed my fifth blogiversary without so much as a blink. I completely forgot about it until someone else who started blogging about the same time as I did mentioned theirs.
entoptic phenomena: Events taking place totally within the eye
The way my patients squint and squirm in the chair, you’d think I was coming at them with a dentist’s drill. Or worse yet, a serpentine colonoscope, which, aside from a sword, is perhaps the coldest and most impersonal use of steel man has ever devised.
But I’m not that kind of doctor. I’m an optometrist, and the only instruments of torture I’m wielding—at the moment, anyway—are a large, table-mounted flashlight which, when turned all the way to “11,” rivals the glory of the sun, and a tiny, hand-held Coke-bottle thick magnifying glass, the kind you used to fry ants when you were a kid.… Read the rest
In a stunning development that will likely leave Lee Corso and “Herbie” Herbstreit looking like tiny ants waving their itsy-bitty antennae in a desperate bid for attention, the Lord God Himself has broken His silence and declared His allegiance to the University of Alabama and picked the Crimson Tide to repeat as 2010 BCS National Champions.
Long suspected of rocking the Houndstooth beneath the dense billows of smoke and pillar of fire which conceal Him wherever He goes, God came out of the cloud yesterday and ended all speculation as to His true colors (Crimson and White) before the season even started.… Read the rest
Many people talk–a lot–about their personal faith and how “things ought to be.”
Dr. Tom Little was one of those rare breeds who actually lived what he believed, putting flesh and bones–and blood–to all those words. Rather than yammering on and on until eyes glaze over in “here we go again” ennui, he looked around at the things that were askew and out of balance in the world and then went forth and actually did something about it.
Huntsville police and SWAT teams are currently at the scene of a hostage situation in the Medical District.
An optometrist (OD) employed at an ObamaCare-affiliated medical clinic (the one with the new Death Panel drive-thru window) is apparently fed-up to his eyeballs with all the incessant yik-yak from his patients, the constant sniping and backstabbing from co-workers and the drowning deluge of mind-numbing emails, bureaucratic buzzwords and meaningless acronyms (MNEMBBMA) raining down from his overlords on Mt. Olympus.
The OD–OMe! OMy!–has apparently quit his job and gone optical.
Police will identify him only as “Mike the Eyeguy.” According to a department spokesperson, Dr.… Read the rest