Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

Odds and Ends No. 36


I’m having one of my regular not-photo-worthy
lunches. And, I’m writing on a steno pad to my
left, sandwich in the middle, and thinking of

reading my lunchtime book, open on the right.
To slow the eating process down. When you are
too hungry, you eat too fast. Fast for me is no

doubt slow for you. Historically, I’ve always
been the last one to finish. To this day I can
still hear the tapping of my mother’s hard long

fingernails on the table giving me a look as I
was the last one to finish the salad so she
could serve the main course. I can’t tell you how

happy I was when I joined the Army to learn that
salad was an option, not mandatory. And, yes, I
found Army chow an improvement, a step up!

I’ve never enjoyed the taste of passive-aggressive
cooking. Hard to swallow. I was probably more
hungry for lunch because we had breakfast so

early today. A little after six. Her cold isn’t as bad
today. Mine is same-o, same-o. A cold means food
doesn’t taste. Well, not quite. It tastes, but not…

(Finished my lunch about here. Back at my desk
with three cookies and morning coffee from my
thermos, two sugars, three of creamer.)

…good, not right. Because your throat feels like a
waste bin. Turns everything to bland. Although,
bland is higher on my list than passive-aggressive

anything. I don’t believe there are any passive-
aggressive bartenders. Have you ever had a bad
Martini out? Of course not. If someone passive-

aggressive made a dry Martini, what would it taste
like? Pure lighter fluid, I imagine. Big heart burn.
(I know these things. I have the sick relationship

history to prove it.) Why did I remember that book
as being so great? I’ve read about first century
rabbis studying the law for weeks now! It is

getting old. The Law did us in then; does us in
now. Choking the life out of me (and the Church).
Worse? Present day Christians studying the Law

and living under the Law (who don’t know any
better that they are under Grace). Sad to think
when Jesus returns there will still be legalistic

preachers teaching series after series on the Ten
Commandments without a hint of Grace (or Jesus).
Holding their flocks in bondage when Jesus set us

free. (To clarify lest I’m misunderstood or have to
bleep a whole bunch of so-called Christian
comments—one can teach about the Ten

Commandments but from a Jesus, saved by Grace
point of view. Please do not make the same mistake
many preachers do. That is to separate “grace and

truth.” Grace and Truth are on the same side of the
seesaw; the Law is on the other side of the seesaw.
You can’t live under the Law and by Grace and Truth

at the same time. Like having one foot in the grave
and the other foot out of the grave. Just like
passive-aggressive food is never going to taste good.

It only looks the part. “For the law was given
through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
Christ.” (John 1:17) The Apostle Paul proved that we

cannot fulfill or keep the Law. Hence, Jesus came to
fulfill the Law, completing the Law for us. If I can’t
keep the Law, I’m as good as dead. If I fail under

Grace, I’m forgiven and still alive by God’s Grace.
Well, cookies are long gone. Looks like I’ll be making
a run to Home Depot for my second replacement

smoke detector. Trying to replace them all, one a
month. I don’t want anymore screaming eagles at
two in the morning! Smoke detectors only fail at

night; not during the day. There ought to be a law.
And we might stop at Dairy Queen for medicinal
purposes on the way back home.

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