Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Downtown Atlanta a couple years ago. Really. Trust me.

Help, I am in a fog. Holiday hurry up what can I cut from my to do list in an effort to preserve a shred of sanity fog perhaps.

Makes it easier to ignore the news. With the possible exception of those I’m considering for elected office – and even then it’s a giant stretch – I don’t care what you have to say on gun control and immigration policy.

God bless y’all. Have a Christmas cookie.

Friday night I road tripped with a few friends to see a fellow member of the ragamuffin tribe in her church musical. We succeeded in surprising her – a better option than announcing ourselves ahead of time, we thought. No need to add pressure.

Earlier that day one weather source mentioned freezing fog as a possibility overnight. I checked my trusty Weather Channel app. Well, okay, as trusty as weather prediction gets. There was no mention of fog of any sort whatsoever. And the temperature was expected to be above freezing until midnight.

Fear not! We shall proceed down the road an hour and a half at the appointed time as planned.

At the appointed time the weather app did mention fog, but no major warnings or advisories or anything. No worries, we’ll be fine.

Off we went. With a pit stop at Chick-fil-a, because that’s all Jesusy and stuff. And delicious. Our pit stop took a little longer than we wanted … between half the two-seater ladies' room being out of order (while in line, Sue ran into someone she hadn’t seen in ten years, so it wasn’t all for naught) … and my sandwich falling apart in my hands as I ate in the driver’s seat before I felt like we could start moving safely (definitely not for naught … it was sooooooo good … did I mention it came with the largest piece of lettuce in the history of man … nomnom … salad …)

Onward down the road. We ran into fog in a couple spots on the interstate. Not super thick, no big deal – we made good time and arrived just in time for the start of the show.

The musical was great. Our friend has a beautiful voice. Everyone had obviously put a lot of work into the production – it was well done. The general idea was a show-within-a-show time traveling vibe. Not quite “A Christmas Carol” but sort of along those lines. More than one theme stuck out … the joy of a dancing angel … the wonder of a shepherd completely humbled that God would want him to be one of the first to lay his eyes on the face of the newborn savior ... the prayers of a little girl to let her mom “know that she is loved”. Anna and I somehow managed not to cry on each other’s shoulder.

Have you really thought about the shepherds? I mean really. Imagine yourself as a lowly shepherd. Just hanging out with the sheep. Probably smelling like sheep. You’re not a destitute beggar, but you’re certainly not part of high society. You probably know about the messiah who’s supposed to arrive someday, but it’s been talked about for so long you don’t think much about it happening in your lifetime. You probably don’t feel all that important in the greater scheme of things. You just tend the sheep. Do-do-do, time to tend the sheep. So when an angel appears and says the messiah has arrived and God wants you (you, smelly shepherd boy!) to go take a look … well, that’s different. I feel like, even after reading the biblical account and watching Charlie Brown Christmas 2,347 times, we still take the shepherd situation for granted.

After the show Friday night we hit the local Frisch’s for snacks and hangout time. With Willet’s Christmas EP providing background music for Nigel the GPS dude. Oh my, the fog! Total pea soup. I’ve never liked pea soup, in case you were wondering. Nigel’s soothing British voice guided us up North South Street and onward toward the interstate, with only one wrong turn down a side road. In the absence of zero-visibility fog the entrance to the freeway probably would have been apparent, even at night. After a quick u-turn and a pause to marvel at how little of the interstate sign we could see while stopped practically under it, we were on our way again.

Pea soup. Pea soup. Pea soup. I’m going to write a song about pea soup.

We mixed up the music a little, eventually landing on Mitch McVicker’s “The Grey” album. Track number one goes, in part, like this …

there is both rain and sunshine
when the sea calms, the wind still knocks me down
when my soul grows quiet, still the tiniest cloud
is like a ***fog*** that settles down on
the bootstrap notions i’ve pulled up
each weatherfront listens to you, you’ll stop at nothing …

… it’s a dangerous tightrope but you hold my hand

~ Mitch McVicker’s “In Other Words” (emphasis added)

Preach it, brother.

I normally would be quite stressed by the level of fog we experienced. Back in high school there was super thick fog after a basketball game one night. I kept stats for the boy’s team. I am a shot chart shot percentage calculating professional, thank you very much. Yay math. I pulled out of the parking lot at the same time as the team manager that night. He lived in my general direction, so I just followed his taillights. Closely. I could barely see the side of the road. Of course being the cool dude he was, he cut through Denison. Easy peasy when you can see what you’re doing, but with pea soup fog?!? Whatever. I stayed on his tail. We both made it home unscathed.

Friday night I was fine. Really exceptionally fine given the weather conditions. My navigator relayed offers of hotel rooms and couches / air mattresses on which to crash partway home.

But I was fine. Calm. Alert. Focused. Maybe the caffeine helped. Or perhaps the prayers, both silent and out loud, fixed everything.

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (The Message)

Crosses in the sky. No fog, just clouds. Keep looking up.

For more on “Fog” from my writing partners, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

No comments:

Post a Comment