When the june bugs were humming

Whenever you are bummed because your life is too complicated and you don’t have any money and you don’t have friends or relatives to stay with, think about the time when you were a little kid and your folks got you one of those swirly cones from Dairy Queen, remember how the soft serve ice cream always had a way of dripping before you finished it, and your mother scolded you for getting some on your sunday clothes and the june bugs were humming around the fluorescent lights and just about that time you thought “She knew that dripping on my clothes was a probable outcome of this DQ cone thing”, but you didn’t think it in exactly those words because you were just a little kid, but when you got home the dog licked the drips off of your clothes anyway without leaving too much to worry about, then you remembered that you hadn’t done your summer reading because it took so long to find the book at the library, and besides the story wasn’t anywhere near as exciting as the cover art, but you thought you might have time to finish it, yet you never got around to it, so now you were on the verge of a panic attack and your blood ran all cold and tingly and you had shivers down your back because the new english teacher always gave a test about the summer reading and you really didn’t want to start the fall semester with a failing grade which you would have to bring home to your parents for them to sign and endure their caustic remarks about how the innocent fun you had during the summer chasing your brothers around and accidently breaking your younger brothers arm, but that was in early june and he is all better now, and don’t you feel ashamed now that you broke your brother’s arm and wasted all of your time, but they never asked you if you needed to do your reading when they suddenly took you to Mexico City, Mexico for a week and a half and it was three whole weeks before you even remembered that you had summer reading because you were still finding people to tell about seeing the pyramids at Teotihuacan and the dried up chicken bone you found in one of the ruins which you just knew was an ancient artifact, since the nearest Colonel Sanders was miles away in Mexico City and the way that the trees and cars and people looked like something from your model train set, from the top of the pyramid of the sun, except that these ones moved around, but suddenly you got sick and barfed at the top where they used to sacrifice people and it was hard going back down the pyramid because the stairs were steep and you couldn’t keep from looking straight down, but that all happened weeks ago and now you are trying to remember where you put dad’s hammer after he saw you borrow it and now he’s gonna be mad when he looks for it and he knows you have it, then he’s gonna blow his top and line up the boys and say “who took my hammer” and no one will say anything because it’s just a little game he plays and he beats everyone at the end of it anyway, so there’s no point in confessing, and after denying it once, you just stand there and try not to look guilty when he’s staring at you, but that’s impossible because you know that you did it even though now the details are so fuzzy that you can’t remember doing it and just then you notice a fly buzzing around the window in the garage, just before he starts hitting everyone, so now you’re glad because that was a long time ago and he’s dead and the fly’s gone and you burned all the old two by fours he used for paddles and now you’re free, free at last, but then you remember you’re not and your taxes are due next week and you haven’t even started to find the scraps of paper you kept your dubious records on and your blood runs all cold and tingly and you have shivers down your back at the thought of it, so you realize what a stupendous rut your whole life has been and how impossibly high the sides of the rut are so that you will never be able to climb out, so you cry out “Lord Jesus please help me,” and He does.

Then you find yourself sitting on a rock in the lushest green pasture you have ever seen and there is this guy walking toward you and it’s Jesus and He’s smiling at you and you say to yourself He’s not smiling at me there must be someone behind me, but you look and there’s not. So here He is holding out his arms to you like you always wished he would, but the preacher said Jesus was mad at you and your older cousin said the boogie man was going to get you and he said Jesus doesn’t care if he does. And a well meaning friend gave you a picture of Jesus and your well meaning mom threw it away. But there He is holding His arms out to you and smiling in spite of what they said. and He takes you into His arms and he heals all of the hurts. So you don’t have to think of the two by fours and the ice cream drips and the books you didn’t read and He gives you an idea where the tax records you need are. And He tells you that even if you walk away from Him he will come after you, even if you fall down the canyon wall He will be there to get you out. And at first all you can think of doing is to breathe a sigh of relief and take a nap, because guilt is tiring and now it’s gone, and you try to nap but you can’t, so you get up and you go back to where Jesus is watching the other sheep and you look into His eyes and then you understand that you don’t want to be apart from Him ever again.

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