I was out visiting friends the other day and I caught up with someone I haven’t seen in long time. I asked my old friend how he’d been since I last saw him. He looked down at the ground and shook his head and said:

I got laid-off three years ago, my wife she filed for divorce two years ago. And my kids, well, they call another man dad. But my eyesight is still good, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

My unemployment ran out not long ago, then the mortgage was due and I couldn’t pay. After that I got a notification that my house was in foreclosure. But my health is in good shape, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people. 

My savings has gone completely dry and my car got repossessed late last week. I pawned off all my tools to buy groceries. But my legs are good, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

Everyday I seem to be losing something material and my life is reduced to a handful of things. But I’ve been sober for over a year, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

Man, I feel like I’m out there in the twilight zone sometimes when I see how my life has changed. I play the old country music and I get sad when I think of the day Waylon Jennings died. I think of how his music made me happy and how his silence makes me cry. My power got shut off the other day now I can’t listen to anything. But I’ve learned to pray, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

Here we are, we probably should be talking about the weather. But we both know damn well, its not easy living in this world of money. I’m a man of work with nowhere to go. I’m broke but I’m not broken, and I could use a job. But I’ve come to understand that God sees me and I feel him smile, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

I remember a time when my future was bright, I was handsome and strong and when I walked along I held my head high. Somehow I lost my way and now I feel bent, old and obsolete. But I still have my guitar and I can play the strings, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

I know that lately things haven’t been so good, things have changed and I’ve done all I know how to do for my situation. I’m just a simple man, you know. I don’t need much. I suppose though, if I had it to live all over again I doubt I trade it or change one thing. It’s like ole Jimmy Buffet says, ‘Some of it was magic some of it was tragic but I’ve had a good life all the way.’ At least I have some good memories, so, I guess I’m doing better than some people.

The economical storm in my old friends life was heart wrenching to hear. The afternoon visit seemed to be heavy on his shoulder and he looked uncomfortable with that ‘I wish I had better story to tell’ look on his face. I didn’t have much money but I reached for my wallet and he stopped me.

“It’s been real good to see you friend, it’s nice to know you care but I don’t want your money. I’ve known you to be a soulful man, would you mind, just say a prayer for me instead.”

I nodded in agreement. I got back in my pickup, gave him one last long look and waved goodbye. As I drove away I thought about how it can happen to any of us at any moment. Our world can change. We can lose our job, become ill, or death finds someone close to us. These things that are ugly and stink up our lives we call shit. And when it happens to us people often say as if it’s comforting ‘Shit happens!’

So, I prayed for my friend and all of mankind.

“Thank you o lord for the gift of life. Each of us is a seed for greater things and you have planted us here on Mother Earth, and I’m so thankful to be here. I also thank you for all the shit that happens to us because it takes a lot of shit to help the crops to grow. We are growing o lord, we have been fertilized well and we are growing to be better because of it. Thank you for our growth.”

After that prayer I too felt God smile.

Bless you all and may your Spirit Grow.

Ra Lynn