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Ribeyes in the rain with Marc

by davesandel on August 27th, 2021

Friday, August 27, 2021                                 (today’s lectionary)

Memorial of Saint Monica (patron saint of mothers)

Ribeyes in the rain with Marc

Your holiness is the will of God, so refrain from immorality. Do not take advantage of a brother or sister, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things. God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.

I was tired all day. My eyes water and blink against the pollen of central Illinois. I have gone to bed too late and got up too early. When I’m with someone, then I regain my strength, but as they leave, I sag a little.

Marc came in the afternoon to grill thick ribeyes on our fancy charcoal grill. He brought a fancy bottle of wine. I bought potatoes, sweetcorn, mushrooms and broccoli, along with two perfect potatoes for baking. The rain fell half the afternoon and then stopped, just in time. The steaks were thawed and looked incredible. We filled the chimney starter and lit the newspaper, and in moments the charcoal took off, hot and filled with flame.

Do not disregard each other, for you do not then disregard a human being but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

We shared stories for a couple of hours. The rain prevented us from trimming the hedge, oh so sad! We tried bits of Scotch, Irish, and Tennessee whiskeys, and after dinner cleaned up every dish.

Marc liked the way we didn’t hurry. Neither of us had much left to do before sleep. We had no family obligations, except to each other. Both of us have “monkey” minds; our thoughts jump over and over from branch to branch, entirely out of our control. Now, in these quiet moments of companionship and dish cleaning, like Brother Lawrence we practiced the presence of God, we were both Being Here Now.

Light dawns for the just and gladness, for the upright of heart. Be glad in the Lord, and give thanks to his holy name.

Tomorrow in Urbana I’ll be with several other folks, listening to their stories, talking about mine, getting our Prius’ oil changed, turning in some tax papers. Marc has found a rhythm for his days. He wakes up, spends time meditating, takes a shower, then moves into what he calls “productive things” before going to work around 3. He loves his job at Bunny’s, named by Hugh Hefner in the 60’s (in case you didn’t know). But now the patrons are often veterans of WWII, or Korea, or Vietnam, rather than high-stepping, short skirted, buxom beauties.

Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.

Perhaps Marc will write out a story he hears there, someone telling their tale while he takes their order for a reuben sandwich and fries. And I wonder if he will find his way into a counseling career. If not, he has friends and strangers who need a listening ear.

Margaret and Marc really enjoy their conversations. Like Monica and her son Augustine, they don’t exhaust each other with ceaseless demands. So much water has gone under their bridge. Their gratitude for each other, indeed thankfulness that they are both still alive, knows no bounds. Their love for each other far outweighs whatever differences might sometimes stick in their craw.

At the end of our evening we shared a chocolate bar. “I’ve been buying and eating Hershey bars before I go to bed, like Mom used to do.” He looked abashed. But in four months he has lost 30 pounds. So who’s complaining about a little chocolate?

(1 Thessalonians 4, Psalm 97, Luke 21, Matthew 25)

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