Chapter 29

Dear friends,

Let me share a silly but true story. One day very long ago Little Ricky, me, was getting dressed and ready to go to school, probably to the first grade. My mother interrupted the process by asking me a question; “Ricky, when was the last time you changed your underwear?” I don’t remember my answer, I probably didn’t have an answer. “Change your underwear, Ricky, it is very important to wear clean underwear. You never know when you might get into an accident and have to go to the hospital.”

Never mind that I might be injured, the shame of dirty underwear would be too much for a proud mother to bear!

It is no secret that we all have a tendency to live our lives superficially, being overly concerned with appearances and what others think of us. Luckily we have a wise teacher who understands completely all of the funny foibles of being human. Jesus was surrounded by people who were working hard to appear to be pure. They were great about keeping up appearances. “You are like whitewashed tombs,” he told them, “you are beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of everything dead and rotten." Well! I guess he told them! Whoops, I should have said I guess he told us.

A friend of mine tells a story of his mother at mealtime. His is a deeply religious family, but when they sat together and prepared to eat their meal no prayer was said. His mother just looked at the food and then everyone around the table and made her standard pronouncement. “I think God knows we are grateful.” And I agree, sometimes a long and fancy prayer isn’t speaking to God. Deep thoughts and loving actions are the best prayers, and they are the most important part of our secret lives.

I miss being together with all of you!

Your friend, Rick