Still Falling

The dog from Corpus Christi appears bemused 

by the still-falling snow

Cold to the paw and to the scruff 

he shakes his mane as if to say directly

This is no fun 

No warmth in the cold, in the dark 

as the boy worries about the man outside

Trudging through the storm

I know this:  we cannot save ourselves 

We have rifled through both fervent prayers and familiar hymns

The angel appears

Driving a jeep through the dark

Willing to detour for us

Make salvific suggestions apologetically 

As though we could ignore our perilous need for rescue

Push us up the hill and tell us the direction home

As snow falls all night on the mountain 

We hold each answered prayer

snowflakes in our hands

The parable of good wakeboarder

Years ago I had my first encounter with the way the parable of the Good Samaritan might need to be imported to wake parks, or at least my home park at the time.

A young man dangled in the water at the point of the pond furthest from the dock.  He cried out in pain.

I say this with no pride–I did not want to stop riding to help him.  They were about to close…I would have to stop riding for the day…there were so many other riders, surely someone else would stop and assist him?!

I stopped and so did his friend.  He had hurt his foot and ankle and he definitely needed help.

The first of many times that God would remind me that wakeboarding is not as important as your soul.

There were other ways to remind me of this–picking up trash along the shore, letting people cut in front of me even if it really bugged me, helping others to ride.

And after that first time it seemed good to just make the rule to stop and help anyone who needed help.

So when a Christian-labelled group started a Bible study at the Texas Ski Ranch, some of us discussed the way Jesus’ parable about an outcast who saves the day for a crime victim could be adapted for wakeboarders.

The guy who got beat up would be a new rider in need of help.

The priests and religious leaders would be the “really good riders” who become so focused on their tricks or their ride that they ignore the person in need.

But who was the Good Samaritan? Who would he or she be?

I am not going to fill in that blank.  You should.  If you are a wakeboarder you should find out who the “Good Wakeboarder” is. (Hint: He is much more famous as a Barefooter, doesn’t even need a rope.)

One day we will all need him, no matter how many trophies we have or tricks in our pocket.

And if you are not a wakeboarder you can pick your epithet for the good “guy” in Jesus’ parable.

The good reality TV star?

The good politician?

The good evangelist?

The good drug dealer?

The good alcoholic?

The good snob?

We get pretty hung up on our labels.  Jesus knew that and exploited the discomfort of his listeners to force them to see Him differently.

No one can be good the way Jesus can–God in disguise.