Cape Cod is blessed with an abundance of folks from England and Ireland. And, with an abundance of Irish pubs to quench the mighty thirsts of those who cherish fond memories of the local pubs back home. Patrick O’Shea’s is a wonderful place that greets you like family when you walk in the door. One night just as we were leaving there a few fellows came tumbling out behind us. They were having a rollicking grand time of it, to the point where I was not so sure I wanted to be driving on the same roads that they were, so, I was relieved to see them walking off somewhere.
Now the Cape is a strolling place – in places. But, O’Shea’s sits right on route 28, one of the three major road on the Cape, and there is not a lot of strolling done along it. But, our fellows set off in the general direction of the Bass River, and my curiosity was peaked, so we followed along a bit behind them.
Indeed, they were headed to the river, stumbling and laughing as they walked. As we got closer to the river, I could see the Reverend from the local Baptist Church holding some kind of prayer meeting by the river. Now, for sure I was going to follow and check this all out.
Well, as the boys got closer to the bank, one of them took a tumble, and rolled right into the Bass River. And there was the Reverend knee deep in the river baptizing folks from his congregation. And our fellow from O’Shea’s splashed and splattered and wound up at the Reverend’s feet. The good Reverend somehow was taking all of this extra splashing in stride. In fact as our fellow came up for air, the Reverend grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, dunked him back into the river, pulled him up and asked him, “My son, have you found Jesus?” And the fellow said, “No, sir, I have not.”
The Reverend kept his hold on him, dunked him back into the water, and it seemed to me he held him there a tad longer, then pulled him up and asked, “Son, have you found Jesus?” Our fellow was now sputtering a bit, but got out, “No, sir, I have not.”
The Reverend tightened his grip on our fellow, dunked him back in the water, and gave him a bit of a shake while he had the guy underwater, pulled him back up and asked again, “Son, Have you found Jesus yet?” By now, our good fellow was sputtering and gasping for air as he replied, “Sir I have not. Are you sure this is the spot where he went under?”
And that reminded me of another time when we were coming out from the Stop and Shop grocery store. It was a bit foggy and dark, and there was a woman looking for something under one of the (far too few) street lights. We could see she was distressed, so we went over and asked if we could help. She thanked us profusely and said yes, she had dropped her car keys, and had been looking for them for fifteen or twenty minutes and just couldn’t find them. She had looked all around under the light, and asked if we wouldn’t mind looking with her. So we scoured the area, but found nothing.
After a bit, I had this flash of insight, and remembered that when I lost something, my mother would have me retrace my steps as I searched for it. So, I asked the woman if she could remember when she last had the keys. She brightened, and said, “Oh, yes, I had them in my had and was getting ready to open my car door, when I dropped them.”
I must have gotten a quizzical look on my face, because I did not see a car under the light. With my last remaining shred of social work skill, I repeated, “Your car?”
And she replied, “yes, it’s parked right over there” as she pointed to a car parked a few yards away off in the shadows outside the halo of brightness from the lights.
“But, if you dropped the keys over there, why are you looking for them here?” I asked her.
She looked at me as if I was some kind of dolt, and said, “Why, silly, it’s so dark over there no one could ever find anything! I just came over here by the light were it is easier to see.”
Hmmm…these stories kind of make me think (once I stop laughing). Words. Of course we know what they mean. Well, at least I know what they mean to me. But when you hear them, I suspect they could mean a whole other set of meanings. “Have you found Jesus?” Have you found the meaning in your life? Who knew he was lost!
Just how often do we find ourselves searching for love in all the wrong places? Searching for something when it is right there in our hearts and homes – if only we would open our hearts and eyes and really see.