It's late, and I've been working all day. Cleaned out my front porch. Put up Christmas decorations. Had a birthday party for my wife. Forced my daughter to do her homework. Made up a lesson plan. Corrected quizzes. I am T-I-R-E-D.
I do have a Classic Saint Marty for you this evening. This one comes from the very beginning of Saint Marty the blog. It currently has never been viewed by anybody. And I think it's pretty damn good. You be the judge, though.
Saint Marty is ready for B-E-D now.
November 11, 2010: Saint Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier when he had what the writer
Flannery O'Connor would have called his moment of grace. Martin was
stationed in Amiens, France, when he encountered a half-naked beggar at
the city's gates. Martin took his sword, cut his cloak in two, and gave
the beggar half of it. That night, Martin had a dream. In the dream,
he saw Jesus Christ wearing his torn cloak. Christ was telling angels
how Martin had clothed Him when He was cold and naked. When Martin
awoke, he decided to devote his life to following Christ. Martin of
Tours is now the patron of beggars and soldiers.
that story for a few reasons. First, I like it because it's about a
guy named Martin, and that's a great name. Second, I like it because
it's about unsolicited charity, an act of kindness that somehow proves
to me that people are basically good. Third, I like it because it
involves a cool, ecstatic vision. That just doesn't happen any more.
Jesus doesn't make very many personal appearances these days.
story also underscores a pretty basic lesson I learned in Sunday School
a long time ago (sing it with me): "Whatsoever you do to the least of
My people, that you do unto Me." You better be good to that one-armed,
club-footed, blind server at Red Lobster, because she just might be
Jesus in drag. It's a rule I try to remember, but it's also a rule I
don't always follow. I have a really bad habit of being too
judgmental. If you have read any of my previous posts, you might have
noticed that sarcasm comes pretty naturally to me. Which means that I
have ridiculed or insulted Jesus Christ on more than one occasion.
That's probably not a good thing to do on a regular basis.
have a close friend right now who's going through a really tough time
with a loved one. Without getting into too much detail, it's a
situation that requires my friend to exercise a lot of tough love, doing
stuff like letting the loved one flunk out of college, lose a job, be
stranded alone at Christmas. It's a horrible position to be in.
remember one Christmas when my wife and I were separated. She was
living an hour-and-a-half away and was driving a minivan that had over
200,000 miles on it. Its door was broken; she had to use a bungee cord
to keep it closed. She had moved out of our home about four months
before and was in the grips of her sexual addiction completely. I was
raising our daughter alone, and I was having a difficult holiday
season. I didn't even put up a Christmas tree until my daughter begged
On Christmas night, I went to my wife's sister's
house for a family get-together. My wife's family had been very
supportive of me. They'd helped me paint my daughter's bedroom, cleaned
my house from top to bottom, straightened the junk in the attic. The
get-together was warm and light. My wife was there, and our daughter
was overjoyed to be with her. On only a few occasions did things get
tense, but I worked to stay upbeat and Christmasy. At the end of the
evening, I was packing up my daughter's presents when my wife approached
"I was wondering if I could spend the night at the house," she said quietly.
I looked at her, at her pleading eyes.
was a cold night, about fifteen below zero. It was the kind of night
where the snow doesn't crunch underfoot. It snaps. I didn't want to
send her back to her apartment. I didn't want her to drive her shitty
vehicle over two hours through an arctic night to an empty home. I
I looked back at her for almost a full minute.
Finally, I said, "I don't think it would be a good idea." I told her
it would confuse our daughter.
She nodded and smiled. "Yeah, I know," she said. "I understand. Merry Christmas." She kissed me on the cheek.
Sometimes, love means you leave the beggar half-naked at the city gates.
Confessions of Saint Marty