Murder Most Foul

It was like one of those

You know, "The victim's body was found on the floor in a puddle of water. The window was open, and there were pieces of glass all around, but there were no visible signs of injury. What happened?"

The wind knocked over the gold fish bowl.

Only when I walked in the door Sunday afternoon, there wasn't a body on the floor; just the pieces of broken glass. How could a glass have fallen off the table when no one was here? The rest of the family was at Grandma's for Sunday brunch. I had just made a quick run home for...

...Manuel's glasses.

I found the mangled frames and the OTHER lens on the floor in the library.

Blackie had struck again.

The big black dog, with his teeth, in the library.

He could now add them to the collection of things he has chewed up; including several expensive toys, a pair of shoes, and the living room couch.

The irony is, this was my SECOND trip home. Dionel and I had already been there a few minutes before to pick up "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (what were the people at Disney thinking???!!!). Marcela had left it behind when we had gone to church earlier. When D and I walked in the door back at Grandma's, Dani said she had tried to call me - Manuel wanted his glasses. Feeling in a generous mood - and luckily for Manuel still not all that hungry - I didn't mind driving back across town a second time.

The thing was, there hadn't been any pieces of chewed up lens on the floor the first time we were there. It was those fateful ten minutes between trips that were the glasses' undoing.

So, had I gotten there a minute or two earlier, or if Manuel had asked me to pick up his glasses the first time around, or if Dani had been able to get ahold of us while we were there picking up the movie - all just minor variations in the actual sequence of events - we wouldn't be faced with the prospect of having to shell out another hundred bucks for a new pair of glasses...

...but I am not complaining!

I've learned my lesson (for the moment anyway).

The first reading at church Sunday was from Exodus (I think - I wasn't paying THAT close attention!). It was the story of the Israelites in the desert.

They were grumbling and complaining to God because they were tired of the manna and quail he was miraculously providing every day.


That's me.

I have been doing my share of grumbling and complaining lately. MORE than my share. And here God has been providing for us each day. We are still here. We have each other. We are healthy (relatively! We have just been trying on colds all winter). We have a warm house to live in, and more than enough to eat.

Sure, things could be better. But I realized that is the thing. The Israelites were complaining, and at one level they had legitimate reason. They WERE in the desert after all. But they were GOING to the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. God had this wonderful place prepared for them - and he was taking care of them on the journey there.

Their problem was they had become very, VERY short sighted.

All they could see was manna and quail, manna and quail, manna and quail, day after day, manna and quail.

They had lost sight of the promise of the Land of Milk and Honey. Worse, they had lost sight of God. They had lost sight of all that he had done for them. They had lost sight of his love for them.

Forget the Passover, forget the seven plagues, forget the parting of the sea, forget even the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.

All they could see was their immediate circumstance.

I don't do that, do I?!!!


by Paul Dallgas-Frey
Spring, 1997
(slightly revised, 2003)

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