As I approached the bus stop two pretty weathered guys made a spot for me in the middle and welcomed me to their fellowship: Jeff and Donny.

Jeff was a sort of Portuguese Cheech Marin character hammering his brain a bit with beer and jabbering some – but fun. Donny (who, come to think of it now, did bear some resemblance to Tommy Chong) was in some pain and had just given up on lacing his big black boot.

“Do you mind if I give it a go?” I asked.

“What? You’ll lace my boot?”

“Sure, happy to…S’no big deal brother.”

“Let him do it Donny!” piped in Jeff.

So he gave me the long lace and I got down and started to lace up his boot.


I had already decided listening to Andy preach that he was also right about speaking more plainly about Jesus. It was an aside but I have been wrestling with this. It’s okay to believe in almost anything in California but don’t start talking about the reality of your experience of Jesus because people go apeshit.

Now some of this is really legit. Fundagelicals have ruined things for a whole generation with their politicization of “Gospel” (Good News) making it nothing but bad news. They have commercialized it too – making it a commodity to be sold and marketed. And I have to answer for their sins while also having to answer for my own foibles.

I also grew up in the Bay Area where pluralism is Queen and King. Except for Christianity…ah…see how that works?

Anyway…listening to Andy I thought “Hey…I don’t have a LIFE anyway…what difference does it make? I mean I don’t give a “skabula” (Paul used this word for his own righteousness and it means “shit”) about judgmental Christians – why am I so worried about holding back with everyone else?”

Especially since I don’t really have an agenda for them – only ME.


“Man you are beautiful,” Jeff said as I kept lacing.

“No…I just learned this from reading about Jesus’ washing His disciple’s feet and I figure that if He, being God does that – well – this is a helluva a lot easier don’tcha think Jeff?”

They both started laughing good. And I finished and stood up and Donny said …”I’m in pain.”

So I gave him three Tylenol and one of my water bottles (I would not be using it again.)

Then I sat down and for some reason I just started to riff – like the spirit of Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters was upon me (since I was in early teens I could do voice impersonations with deadly accuracy).

(I know…too early?)

So we had a really good time the next 20 minutes before the bus came with me riffing off the two of them and doing Sean Connery, Mel Gibson, and my East Indian “Manfred” character (“It’s all about particles from your past lives which come around,” says Jeff. Manfred retorts “It is all about the tiniest of particles which yoos can’t indeed by jove cannot see permeating from the beers via osmosCEASE! through a semi-permeable membrane into an area of lesser gradation sahib!!”) which sends them over the edge…


Prior to church I had worked with the “Feeding the Spirit” crew who come and provide a truly near gourmet breakfast every Saturday and Sunday despite the fact that they are ritually verbally assaulted for their kindness.

My new friend Renaldo (who I call “The Great Renaldo”) said “Did you hear what they called him on Sunday?” Even I will not repeat it here but it was a typical “preacher slam.” The TGR says “and he was one of YOUR people!!” and laughs hysterically.

“”It’s always one of MY people – some turgid uptight white guy with an engrossed sense of entitlement and a deep root of bitterness.”

And we laugh again.

There were many other times in the day that I got to serve others in major ways. It will not take away from my core tasks and the long climb I have to make personally but I realize now that I am exactly where God wants me.

So this is my new life and I am starting to dig it.


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