Matthew 5:14-16

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

 I went to a friend’s house the other night. No, it wasn’t a lady friends. Dag nab it! Wasn’t a boyfriend neither as He was my age. So I guess we should say he was an old friend. I find myself from time to time reminiscing about the old days standing around the old Hobo Barrel filled with all kinds of edible fare boiling in beer. Oh yes that cold one grasped firmly in the fingers changing altitudes and attitudes along with the flow of good conversation. But those days of blissful recreation without thought of consequence are long past. Well maybe not that long but who is counting. No today my friend Richard, known to you in previous notes as “Side Kick”, and I are content to sit in the living room and enjoy the comforts of “RealTyme Lemonade” and the relief of air-conditioning. There is something cool, aside from the air-conditioning, about sitting around now and talking about the yesterdays. I guess in the younger days we gathered and dreamed of all the great things we would do. For some it worked out ok and others maybe even better. While for others I am sorry to say it ended not near as planned. But now I guess we can look back and flavor the result and take a satisfaction in the amended account. This then the activity of Richard and I spending most of an afternoon spinning a yarn of Glorified days long lived over and again in memory. Of course, I am sure, at least from this quarter, each visit back is far grander than the previous.

Now you need not ask nor speculate how I ended up in his bedroom only to know that it was the purpose of my visit. To make some adjustment to his computer and his capability to travel the Internet. So this then the place of his rest as well as his computer. Well it is one thing to observe one’s home but if you really want to get some insight on a person go to their bedroom. I suppose it could be compared to the outer and inner person. The home is that of who we wish people to see but the bedroom reveals the truth we forward not so voluntarily. As we labored over what was nothing more than installing a better browser into his machine I gazed about noticing all the little idioms that we think not to reveal. I was impressed by allot of things in Richards room. One being that the floor was visible. Unlike my own where I have to traverse across yesterday’s shirts and pants. Really must get either a laundry basket or a wife. The former being the most likely outcome of any search for improvement.

I noticed that in his closet all his clothes were hung with the hook pointed in. Pants covered with a matching shirt. Each pair of shoes rested upon the floor with a neatly rolled pair of socks. Each suit accompanied with a shirt and tie partially tied beneath the coat. Belts were fed upon the hook of several outfits. Along the top shelf were five mason jars each filled with a different denomination of coin. There were several hats hung upon hooks about the shelf and one fantastic black felt derby. I was so impressed by all this organization.

Now you would really have to know Richard to appreciate this revelation for myself. Richard is a ragamuffin after my own heart. What I am trying to say is he is, or so I thought, as much a mess as I could ever be. Yet here in his bedroom was complete order. A spot for everything and everything neatly in its spot. His living room was much like mine. Comfortable and well trashed. The kitchen also like mine with last night’s dishes neatly stored in the drying rack awaiting for reuse. But his bedroom was complete organization. So a quick comment was made.

The answers was much like I find myself answering some questions about my little quirks. I don’t know it’s just the way my Father did it.   As time goes on I catch myself doing things in an out of context way. Totally different than the rest of my picture. My only explanation is that this is the way Dad did it. Those little or large things our Father did that impressed us so much that we have copied him. For Richard it was a surprise answer as well as for I in similar quizzes. We pick up on those of great influence in our lives and carry on the tradition sometimes unknowingly.

As I recall now I noticed that when I was a kid back on the block. Impressionable as any I found myself trying to act like the so called cool ones. I’d find my language using all the neat little twist we can create with the English lexicon. I think it is not always a matter of choice but more of a subliminal thing. I never wanted to say Cowabunga Dude. I never had a surf board, blond hair or a sun toned body, yet I would utter Cowabunga Dude now and again. Makes one in need of keeping associations in check as we un-knowingly acquire the actions and deeds of those whom we know. Kind of a birds of a feather thing I suppose. But on a better positive note we are also the bearers of tradition.

We are here to prove the Gospel in our examination and desire to live the Gospel. I saw an interesting statement on a church marquee the other week. “The Child Of The King Should Bare His Likeness.” Much like Richard, you and myself, we are carriers of the traditions set down by our Father. We also are the bearers of the Gospel of Jesus. As we grow in the faith, spirit and grace of Jesus we take on his characteristics and likeness. It is that Christ like image that He places within us. The trouble is in the weakened moments that people see and that which destroys the image God has led us to be.

I never would have guessed that Richard was such a neat nick. I was totally surprised by his bedroom as opposed to his living room. Perhaps then it is a greater disappointment for those to see a spotless living room and a bedroom of filth. Better yet to keep the whole house clean so as not to dim the light we must let shine.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

December 17, 1998

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