Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cured In The Checkout Line?

Since the forecast is for snow later today, Pat and I headed for Price Chopper this morning to gather provisions for a possible snow-in. We needed some salmon ("Good Source of Omega 3") which although farm-raised (can't you just picture that in North Dakota?) was from Canada instead of South America ("Support Your Local Continent"), an unfrozen turkey for tomorrow, more beer and various and sundry (is that redundant?) other items.

Between the tuna and the toilet paper I passed a guy that look vaguely familiar. I tried to steal a longer look hoping it wasn't some complete stranger who might misconstrue my eye contact. Turns out he was stealing a longer look at me also, indicating the possibility we did in fact know one another.

I realized it was someone I had played golf with this last summer, and I guess he figured it out too since he smiled and we both said, "Hey, how ya doin'?". I even remembered his name since I had recently seen it in an e-letter from the golf course I work at during the summer. The guy's name was Jeff and he won the Senior Club Championship while we were away in Florida this fall. We passed and were on to our respective provisioning.

Between the bread and the beer I saw him again and stopped to congratulate him on winning the club championship. He asked if I was going to play in the Turkey Trot, the annual Thanksgiving golf tournament at Adams Pointe. I sadly told him, "No", and in fact had left my golf clubs in Florida due to some hand problems I was having. He asked what the problem was and I told him about the near constant pain across the backs of my hands and the tingling and slight numbness.

He said, "Are you a Christian?".

"What?", I replied.

"Are you a Christian?".

My senses primed for a joke.

None came.

Now, how does one answer a question like that while in the checkout line of the local grocery store?

The only way possible - tell the truth. "No", I said.

As was shortly clear to me, my answer to this question was merely of passing curiosity to Jeff. He grabbed my hands right there in the checkout line and began to pray: "God, remove the pain from these hands, in Jesus name, Amen", "Sweet Jesus, heal these hands and let them hurt no more. Amen".

Now let's get this straight. Jeff is about 6' 2" and is almost a scratch golfer (shoots right around par), and is an imposing figure, kinda like my friend G.R. I'll have to admit I felt a little sheepish. After a few more rounds of amens, Jeff asked if my pain had gone away. "Unfortunately, no", I replied.

"Well, since you do not have faith I'm doing this all with my faith, so it may take a little longer", he said, and he tried a few more hallelujahs. "Pain gone?", he asked. "Well, maybe a little", I fibbed. I hate to disappoint people. I know his heart is in the right place. What would you have me do?

I know, I know - tell the truth.

Well, excuse me all to pieces, but between not wanting to disappoint and the sheer shock of what was happening to me, I lied. And here I thought I was living just as good a life as G.R. only to discover that when under pressure I would (gasp) sin. Boy, I'm in trouble now.

I'll let you know how the hands feel tomorrow...

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