Who Knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man... The SHADOW knows. Hahahahahahah
The chilling laugh that sent chills up my spine as the show The Shadow would begin on the radio.
Now before you get to doing any math. I am NOT that old.
The show was long off the air before little newborn Dale was swatted on the tush in the delivery room, but thanks to the wonders of technology the tapes for a lot of these shows are still in existence. I was fascinated by the old time radio dramas and mysteries. Amazed at how well the human voice and words could weave a picture and story in my mind.
I remember my Dad going around the house, doing the voice of the shadow and the laugh as well. It is an image that will stay in my mind forever. A pleasant one. As I sit here now I am smiling at the memory.
It is amazing to me what the mind chooses to remember. How some memories stay so fresh on your mind that is like the happened only yesterday. The images so fresh that you can pick out every detail of the occasion.
The mind chooses to remember, seemingly at random, brief snippets of life.
Most of them are ones I want to remember.
Like ones of my childhood, my parents, sisters, grandparents and friends.
Most of the time I wish I could remember more of them.
Then there are those things that I wish I could erase from my memory completely. If I could figure out how to take a Brillo pad to my brain I would scrub those parts clean.
Hmmm maybe I have been thinking about his all wrong. Maybe it is NOT the brillo pad that I need.
I need a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!!!
Most of these memories have been traumatic times in my life when I have done something stupid to my body causing myself injury or pain.
To butcher a phrase from Shakespeare... Ahh my body, How have I hurt thee. Let me count the ways.
Jogging yes folks I have actually hurt myself running at a leisurely pace, including, but not limited to, twisted ankles (one so severe it is the subject of another snipitz), scraped knees and bruised forehead. ( I swear officer the tree limb jumped right out in front of me! )
I swear the emergency room at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital had an x-ray machine on hold just for me 24/7.
Anytime there was a thump within earshot you could be pretty certain that Dale had hurt something again. I truly became the thing that goes BUMP in the night.
Let me pause a moment right here and say that I have bounced off of pavement, dirt, grass, concrete, metal and other assorted items that I sometimes feel like the ball in a giant pinball machine. In this case though I only have ONE life to live (my apologies to any soap opera fans) and I am not really sure who is controlling the flippers to keep me in play. Bouncing on one thing or another, being shot up some sort of ramp, only to come down and be thrown back in over and over.
A pinball game starts with such promise too. We await to be put into play. Taking that smooth ride until we are put into the true reality of the game never knowing quite where we will go.
Just within the last few months I experienced the true feeling of being bounced. Let me explain.
I work in a retail store and was innocently walking to the bank to make the daily deposit. It was a bright and shiny day. The birds were chirping merrily as the trees swayed in the slight summer breeze. I approach the cross walk in the area, and stop to look both ways...
I see the van waiting to turn onto the street I am crossing but she is sitting there. So off I go. Whistling and singing to myself... I owe I owe, so off to the bank I go...
ok, I guess I wasn't whistling but you know what I mean. It was a perfect day...until I realized that there was a very LARGE object to my left side and it was MOVING!
With cat like agility and skill I turned away from the oncoming vehicle...
Ok... again I apologize for taking creative license. In actuality I saw the glint of sun off the side of the very large van as I realized that it was turning right at ME!.
There was NO cat like agility and grace, there was only a 50 year old store manager with a bank deposit that had to be made, trying to get his once athletic body, OUT OF THE WAY... but, alas, that was not to be.
With a loud THUMP! The vans front fender impacted my left forearm as I attempted to turn away. I am told that I sat down, I only remember wandering around in the WRONG lane of traffic holding my now throbbing left arm. Bank deposit still firmly clenched under my left arm.
Once again I was the ball in the Pinball game of life. This time though I DID know who was controlling the flipper. It was a very nice woman, who just didn't see me. (good to know that my stealth technique lessons are finally paying off.)
To her credit she did stop, make sure I was back on the right side of the street and called 911. Soon I was the center of attention in my little corner of the world, or lane of traffic as the case may be.
Paramedics were talking to me and making sure I was as well as could be. I don't really remember much of what they said to me as I sat there on the concrete divider in the middle of the street except for one paramedic that got very close to me and looked into my frightened eyes...
Holding his fingers very close together he said, A half step slower... and you would have been UNDER the van, and this would have been a totally different scene, and you would have been...
Oh how words have a lasting affect on us. That one word sent enough chills through my soul to cause me to shiver despite the 90+ degree Kansas City summer day. They are words that also keep invading my dreams. I hear that one phrase over and over again, followed by the glimpse of a large blue van and then the loud THUMP of motor vehicle hitting human body and I wake up sweating and a little sick to my stomach.
And again the phrase... Just a HALF step slower...
Who needs to listen to a radio drama. I had the radio drama of the nocturnal mind.
Night after night I bid adios to slumber and said hello to late night television.
Night after night I put off prayer and the offer of the holy spirit to comfort me,instead, finding solace in midnight cravings of the flesh...
Ben and Jerry's.
I think it is interesting how we all try to escape from whatever grips us. For each of us it is a different escape. We try to find what is comforting to us, those things that make us feel protected and safe. It can be anything from shopping, to smoking. From espresso to alcohol. Or from Ben and Jerry's to Cinnabon.
We are simply trying to find a pain killer for the soul.
You see though. God has already set up a way for us to be comforted. He promised us that he would send the comforter to be with us and with those who are closest to us.
You can not get too much of God's comfort.
Best of all it is free to those who ask, and there is an unlimited supply.
No problem is too big, and no need is too small.
That is where I struggle. The too small part.
When my problems seem too small, especially compared to the needs of others. I don't ask. I try to comfort myself with Ice Cream, lattes or Oreo's.
Hmmmmm wonder what a Chilled latte float made with Oreo ice cream would taste like.
But I digress.
There is NO need to try to handle it yourself. You don't have too. Not now and not ever.
He has never left you or forsaken you.
He loves you!
He waits for you.
He waits for you to love him too.
He waits for you to ask.
So don't wait. Ask today.
In fact ask right now. Its OK I will wait for you to come back...
there you go. Did you do it? Do you feel better?
I know I do.
My little escapade with the van is still has chapters waiting to be written. I am still getting treatment and trying to heal.
I have even earned two new nicknames...Speed Bump (given to me by my regional manager)
And Thumper. Given to me by some fellow managers whom I told my story to...
I guess some times you just have to laugh at yourself too.
So now I break out a pint of Ben and Jerry's and grab a spoon.
Not because I am escaping, but because I love the ice cream.
Oh and just in case your wondering...
My favorite is Chunky Monkey. Whats yours?