When Life Isn’t Smooth–The Message of a T-Shirt

Life, no matter our will, our wish or our experience. Is never smooth. That doesn’t mean each day is filled with bumps and onerous twists of the next step. It does mean, though, that it is most apt in describing my weekend.

Which was well planned but poorly executed. The game plan was for me and my son, Andrew, and grandson, Dylan, to link up in Chicago with my son, Matthew and Sheila and granddaughter Laura. I flew in Friday and stayed with Matthew. Andrew texted us Saturday morning from a Washington D.C. airport, “All flights cancelled.” For all D.C. to Chicago flights.

Bump.

Andrew made a decision…he and Dylan would drive from D.C. to Chicago—a 13 hour drive. His decision did not ring with unanimity. But. A huge but. Andrew is resolute…and he wanted [and I guess needed] to be with us in Chicago to root on our beloved Broncos. He made it!

We linked up Sunday morning, ate in the Yolk restaurant before the Broncos/Bears game [Much more on that, perhaps the best conversation I’ve ever experienced…short, too!]. Our game seats were great…and it was the case…however many attended the game at Soldier Field…the fans were even…as many Bronco shirts as Bears regalia. Of course the game brought cheers…lots of cheers…

We went to an Italian restaurant before Matthew and Laura drove me to O’Hare for my return-to-Austin flight. I then discovered I had lost my credit card…which I finally traced down…and at O’Hare Airport as I was boarding a lady came up to me and asked, “Are these yours?” She held my glasses, which I had dropped.

Andrew and Dylan returned to D.C.—was great they could stay Sunday night in western Ohio with a dear friend of Andrew. Sweet. This afternoon Andrew will return to the basketball practice of his high school team. Nice.

Then. What happened at the Yolk…better than valued. As we sat eating breakfast, I looked over and saw this couple enjoying their breakfast. I read the back of his T-shirt. It didn’t say, “Go Bears,” or “Go, Broncos.” I read the affirmation and thought, “THAT has to be preached and written about.”

Couldn’t just smile. Got up, walked to their table, “Excuse me for intruding.”

They smiled, “Not a problem. Can we help you?”

“You already have. I wanted to affirm the message on your T-shirt…that’s so powerful…if only that could be worn by everyone…literally by everyone…and not just on their back. It’s perhaps the best message for all of us. I wanted to thank you.”

They finished their breakfast. I wasn’t looking. The T-shirt guy tapped on my shoulder, his version of reciprocity, “Mister? Want you to know you have made my day. Thanks…a good feeling you’ve gifted my wife and me.”

Last night when I returned to Austin an e-mail message. From the T-shirt guy. He even said he needed some good books to read during Thanksgiving. Not that my books will serve that wish. Still, how special that moment in a packed restaurant and a T-shirt.

So. Thanks, Jon Lunderberg…and you WILL make it into my next novel…you’ll be a really good guy. Really good.

Now. Hopefully you’re asking about Jon’s message…and I link to it now…a message to each of us who IS unpacking the gift. Whenever possible.

Wadda ya think?

Jon's Message to the World

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About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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