Thursday, February 09, 2012

About Braden, Charlie And Choice


I am in Northern Iowa, now and today I will head into South Dakota. And I am very grateful to the people who chose to help me. I traveled across many miles and stayed safe and warm at night.

I proclaim the small city of Blair, Nebraska to be the nicest town that I've interacted with on this trip. I declare Cortland, Nebraska and Holstein, Iowa to be the worst.

And that's how it's I've hitchhiked across the "Heartland" up-and-down yin and yang. Some folks have been friendly and some people have been poisonous.
There's been no in-between.

The Wasteboro aka Westboro wacko red necks from Kansas are up in arms, again. And considering the way that they're thinking, they might as well have their heads (depending on which one fits where) up each other's ass. Considering their obsession with that particular activity, I may not be that far from the truth.

Those media-hounds are planning to hang-out and raise a ruckus (and a sign or two) at the funeral for the Powell boys, Charlie and Braden. Wasteboro swears that what happened to those two beautiful boys is the direct result of God's wrath. They claim that God is angry about Washington State's relaxed stance toward same-sex relationships.

So they're going to stage another one of their the wrong place...and at the wrong time. They can't help themselves. Wasteboro isn't just's stuck on stupid.

This time, however, there is supposedly a new wrinkle in the rub: If Wasteboro incites bad behavior at the funeral, they'll be arrested. That is, if they don't get their heads pounded and run over by some pissed-off bikers, first.

The Wasteboro group is obviously comprised of jack shit fools. And they still haven't figured-out, how to flush their wrong attitude, down a drain into oblivion. They see no reason to do so. They don't recognize what they're doing wrong.

Never mind the fact that Charlie and Braden died a horrible death along with their monster father. Forget the fact that Josh Powell chased his boys into a room and attacked them with an ax. Dismiss the reality that the boys died in a storm of pain and fear. Yeah, that's just a minor detail, isn't it, Wasteboro?

No, it isn't.

Which brings me back to me.

I have met both good and bad people on the road. A family that I know, in Kansas, is very different from me, in a number of ways. But they didn't pass by me when I was standing cold, on the road. They fed me and let me sleep in their house. When I got sick, they made sure that I got safely to a hospital that was miles away, in the middle of the night.

But when I was on the road yesterday, many people ignored my shivering and just drove by. It was close to sunset before I finally got a ride that brought me six miles into the next town.

The young man who brought me in from the cold didn't do it because we are kindred spirits. He is Native American and very different from Ruthie Rader. He did it because he knows that an ice cold spot is no place for anyone to be. Especially at night.

We all have choices to make, every day: We can write-off someone or treat that person with respect. We can stop and give somebody a ride. Or we can wave and then drive by that person that's standing in the cold air. We can love children or put them through a horrible death. And we can stand solemn in the presence of God and celebrate two innocent lives at a funeral. Or we can attempt to mar that occasion with disgraceful behavior. We can choose to stand at a sick friend's bedside or disconnect when that friend is in his or her most vulnerable position. Yes, we all have choices to make, every day.

And today, before the sun comes up, I pray that YOU will make the choices that are best for you and everyone else around you. Hug a child, visit a person who is sick, counsel a friend, give the gift of your heart to someone who is grieving...

...And if you happen to see me, standing on the shoulder of a road...stop and pick me up. Because I guarantee: For every good choice that you make, today...ten more will be made for you.

Because God makes choices, too.

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