Usually civilians don’t get to see us soldiers when we’re in uniform, but sometimes when I travel I’ll occasionally stop to get a bite to eat or fill up my gas tank. It’s times like that when people from out of nowhere come up to say thank you and show their gratitude. It’s actually a humbling experience for me, and a reminder that I have a big responsibility to live up to.
A dad walks into a market with his young son. The kid is holding a quarter. Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The dad realizes the boy has swallowed the quarter and starts panicking, shouting for help.
A well dressed, attractive, but serious looking woman in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar in the market reading her newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down on the saucer, neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the market.
Reaching the boy, the woman carefully takes hold of the boy’s testicles and starts to squeeze, gently at first and then ever more firmly. After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the quarter, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand.
Releasing the boy, the woman hands the coin to the father and walks back to her seat in the coffee bar without saying a word.
As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no lasting ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying,
“I’ve never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor?”
Yeah, so this actually happened a couple months back, but a guy I knew in the Army somehow managed to come up positive on his drug test. This by itself pretty much gets a lot of guys kicked out… But then come to find out he was spotted in a store hangin’ all over another guy…? I’m sure he’ll get an achievement award out of this.
A pastor was doing his children’s sermon bringing all the youngsters down front to hear the lesson. He was discussing the story of Jonah.
He began by quoting the scriptures from Jonah 1 and 2:
“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying ‘I called to the Lord our of my distress and He answered me.’ And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah 117; 22, 10).
When the pastor finished the quotation, he began soliciting feedback from the youngsters to help him complete this sermon.
He asked, “What does the fish vomiting Jonah out on dry land indicate to us today?”
One of the youngsters spoke with great enthusiasm, and loud enough for the entire congregation to hear, “It proves that even a fish can’t stomach a bad preacher!”
I’m not implying that the rich never hire anyone… After all, they need nannies and pool boys just like the rest of us. But most people get their jobs through personnel departments ran by bean counters who’s private bank accounts probably couldn’t afford to hire their own secretaries. It’s something to think about…
The family gathering was a bit smaller than usual this year. Not because of Covid, but because they could not make it for other personal reasons. It also felt like something was off, more tense, quiet, and perfunctory. The food was excellent, and the weather was beyond perfect, but still something was off.
It will be a couple months before I see them all again. Perhaps by then things will start to seem more normal... whatever normal may be.
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