Matt, and Rachel his wife, are both fans of the cartoon Futurama. As am I. The illustration is from a scene in a particular episode where an arm gets torn off but they use the severed limb to reach out to the other person…whose arm gets ripped from its body. And the two limbs float away into space holding hands throughout eternity. Why? “Because marriage is supposed to last, right?” Yes.
Matt’s savory. Rachel is sweet. He’s a chef. She’s a baker. They are both trying to make it in their careers and more importantly in their newlywed stage of life. Matt started baking when he was five. By ten he was cooking. “I wasted $55,000 in culinary school.” I told him I wasted $75,000 in seminary. Like our passion for cooking, his sarcasm matched mine. Truth is we both do what we love to do.
And while I’m being truthful, here’s the real story. I can’t tell you. I’m not allowed to. In fact, my $75,000 education led to an ordination that forbids me from disclosing what is confessed to me. Within the first five minutes of our conversation, Matt was sharing his heart because “it’s easier to talk to a total stranger. I’ll never see you again.” And talk we did. We had much more in common than cooking, cartoons and sarcasm.
Matt drives past this park every day but has never stopped. In fact, he left the house needing to “get away.” He walked one mile, to a place he’d never been. And had no idea what he would find. We talked. We teared up. And at the end we hugged.
It’s strange how comfortable we allow ourselves to be with strangers. If only we could always be that way with those we love. But sometimes you have to put yourself out there in order to find what’s already inside you. I walked away finding something deep down inside me. My own calling might not be how I expected it, but boy was I grateful I spent that all that money so I could be there for him.
I gave Matt my business card – which was a miracle I had my wallet with me and there was a card in it. I don’t know if he will call or continue our conversation. Until then, I’m thinking I need to get a tattoo of a severed arm just in case our limbs cross again in this strange universe we live in.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”