Eggs, Scorpions, Stones

When Queen Esther prayed, she addressed the God of…

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Somebody very special taught us to call this same God, “Our Father.”

My dad liked eggs. On weekends, he liked to cook breakfast.

“Dad, scramble me a coupla eggs, please.”

“Sure, son.”

Then he hands me a plate with a live Palestine yellow scorpion on it, which proceeds to sting me and put me into a coma.

No. Not likely.

Maybe sometimes we pray and beg and plead, and, instead of the nice loaf of bread for which we hoped, the next day brings something that looks like an un-chewable stone.

“Lord, I asked for the promotion, and prayed to my heavenly Father. Then the boss walked in and gave me more work, no raise, and a lot of grief. How am I supposed to chew this particular piece of bread, O Provident One?”

The Son of God says:

Trusting means chewing what’s on the plate. It may look like a serpent; it may look like a stone; it may look like a disgusting plate full of brussels sprouts or boiled okra. In fact, it is nutritious and even delicious. Once we chew and digest what the heavenly Father serves up, we grow stronger and healthier.

Lord, send us Your Spirit. And then we will be able to handle whatever comes.

…PS. Speaking of fathers, don’t forget that March belongs to St. Joseph!


One thought on “Eggs, Scorpions, Stones

  1. Father Mark,

    In Guantanamo, in 1962, I used to walk around the Public Works offices in bare feet when I went in to work, or to build Heath Kit electornics. One night, someone rang the door bell; and I walked about 30 yards in the dark to the door to open it. When I did, I snapped on the light for the person coming in. At that moment, I became aware of a blue-green scorpion, about as big around as my pinkie, and about as long (with his tail curled up) as my thumb. I shuddered, ran back to the drafting room, got a one-pound lead weight, ran back, and killed the scorpion with it. It wasn’t me; that is, if I hadn’t been so startled by how close it was to me, I would have tried to trap it with something, and release it outside, away from the buildings.

    In 1974, in East Texas, near Jefferson, we were staying at an old farmhouse. The host’s son, a coworker of Pat, had regaled us with stories about the rattlesnakes in the area, including one whizzing past his nose when he hesitated while passing through a barbed wire fence, holding the strands apart. We came back one afternoon; and the kids, ages 5 and 4, ran up the brick walkway ahead of us. Suddenly, they stopped and screamed. I ran forward, saw a snake reared to strike, and reacted immediately by plucking a brick from the walk and smashing the snake with it. As soon as the snake subsided, I realized it was a King Snake. I was really mortified, because I had always collected snakes as a child; I had no fear of them; and I knew most varieties; and I knew that the snake was a beneficial one.

    Both of these incidents are as fresh in my mind today as when they occurred. In both instances, when the moment to act came, I acted in a manner contrary to my normal framework of values. It scares the life out of me to hypothesize how I might act in a situation, only to realize that some submerged agenda may well prevail in the moment.

    Which came out, the lady or the tiger? Which did the father hand his son, the scropion or the egg.



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