Crawl

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crawl: (v) to move on the hands and knees

It is a story found in the Good Book. What makes that book good are the tales that enlighten us, inspire us and cause us to question our mediocre choices instead of covering them with the doctrine of grace.

She was a woman.

This particular lady in this specific story had been crippled for eighteen years. The passage has a detailed description of her problem—she was bowed over, couldn’t walk, and basically found herself uncomfortably situated in some sort of heap, lying on the ground.

Jesus comes upon her. She is some distance away from him, and the assumption is made by everyone in the room that he would walk over, talk to her for a few minutes, and then do some of his jim-dandy magic and heal her. But that’s not what he does.

He calls her to him.

Yes, he requests of this disabled, disheartened woman, that she make the journey across the room, pulling herself along on her arms, elbows and thighs—inch-by-inch making her way to his side.

Can you can imagine the reaction of the room? “This is gross. He’s making her crawl.”

The woman does not complain.

The prospect of being made whole, improved, or even just included was worth it.

She crawled to Jesus.

He did not make her do this because he was a son-of-a-bitch. He wasn’t trying to showcase his authority.

He was giving her a chance to be an intricate part of her own miracle. “Crawl over here and get your blessing.”

Even though each one of us may feel it is cruel or unusual, there are times that we cannot heal the psychological burden of our pain unless we feel as if we are making the crawl to our solution.

I have crawled.

I have made the crawl in joy.

I have crawled, knowing that without the crawl, I would not be able to overcome the anxiety in my soul.

After the crawl came the miracle.

Now…imagine that.

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Coincidence

Coincidence: (n) a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent cause

I’ve never actually tallied the number.

I think it would be fairly interesting to go through the entire dictionary and meter the words provided, based upon whether they offer a positive result for humanity or usher in a negative one.

Some words would be obvious:

Peace would go in one category and war in another.

Joy would have its own space and sadness would hobble to the corner to be alone.

But there are certain words that would be more difficult to categorize:

Coincidence.

Coincidence comes from the term “coincide,” which means to happen at the same time, whereas coincidence requires a bit of magic.

An unexpected arrival.

Which one is it?

I believe each and every one of us is privately are always trying to place our self into situations that will grant us fulfillment.

It may be the definition of sanity.

I go places that make me feel good. If I don’t go places that make me feel good, I end up feeling bad by my own decision.

So is it possible that we maneuvers our beings to coincide with promising possibilities, and then, all of a sudden we find ourselves in a delightful coincidence?

Are we manipulators of our circumstances, so that we can declare a miracle from God?

Do we shift, shimmy and wiggle our way on streets that we deem will give us an avenue to pleasure instead of pain, and then act pleasantly surprised at our destination?

Perhaps it’s just impossible to have coincidence without coinciding our energy in a particular direction.

All I know is, the more I try to be happy, the more often happiness inhabits my heart.

Disheartened? I use it to confirm my disappointment.

I will coincide with good things so when the coincidence of goodness comes my way, I can be overjoyed.

 

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Chocolate

Chocolate: (n) a food preparation made from roasted and ground cacao seeds, typically sweetened.

Obesity is a bitch, because it bitches at you because you’re obese.

It forces you to think about food more than you need to, which can eventually cause you to rebel about being confined.

After all, I’ve never seen a prisoner who’s grateful for being locked up because it made him eat more vegetables.

Likewise, even though being fat does require some disciplinary action, removing the finer parts of life–for instance, chocolate– is what the constitution may have meant by “cruel and unusual punishment.”

So sometimes the prisoner locked within the fatty walls must break out and be free.

Matter of fact, it happened to me last night.

I wanted some chocolate.

Realizing that a Milky Way candy bar is in the hundreds of calories, and even a pack of M & M’s has way too much sugar, I did discover a tiny piece of delight called the Candy Kiss, which ended up being just 22 calories and 2.6 grams of sugar.

Now obviously, one Candy Kiss is not enough, especially if you’ve been locked up in solitary for a long period of time, devoid of the pleasure. But sometimes you can convince yourself to hold it to three.

Three Candy Kisses, bitten in half, creating six bites of chocolate, is a mind-boggling, soul-altering spiritual revival, with a good shout of “Hallelujah” followed by a creamy “A-men.”

Sometimes nothing will replace chocolate.

I certainly enjoy my asparagus, but I cannot truthfully say that it is related, coordinated, conjoined or entwined with the marvelous miracle of chocolate.

 

 

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Changeable

Changeable: (adj) able to change or be changed.

It had all the appearance of being an official meeting.

Everyone was sitting around the table acting adult, and we were following Parliamentary procedure, which made us feel like “big kids.”

A gentleman spoke up and said, “Of course, no one likes change.”

Nearly everyone in the room nodded in agreement. Well, actually everybody but me.

You see, here’s what I have learned. If you work on an asparagus farm, it’s a good idea not to complain about the asparagus. And if you’re going to live on Planet Earth, which is in a constant flux of change, it’s a really good mental health move to stop bitching about transition.

Change is not inevitable–change is essential.

Change is the possibility of carrying the garbage out the door.

Change is being forced to consider the bottom line instead of just falling on your ass.

Change is when the Mother Nature, God, common sense, chaos and love meet together and agree, by some miracle, what direction to head.

Trying to appear “set in your ways” only beckons the concrete removers to come and chisel you out of your opinion.

What should our attitude be? What does it mean to be changeable?

Changeable is knowing that things will change–and if we get ahead of the process, we might actually have the privilege of determining some of the outcome.

 

 

 

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Caftan

Caftan: (n) a long, full robe with wide sleeves

A budget is either an open door to an adventure in thrift or a perfectly good excuse to begin to bitch. The choice is really ours.

Back in my early days, when fifty cents caught in a couch cushion was considered a treasure, I was traveling with a music group and we
found the need to purchase stage clothing. Stage clothing is best defined as something you wouldn’t wear to the mall, but still short of circus attire.

I was touring with two lovely young ladies who certainly deserved to be dressed in better fashion than we were able to afford. So we went to a local glorified thrift store, and found some colorfully-designed caftans.

Truthfully, they were not caftans. They were actually nightgowns for aging, heavy-set women. But after about five minutes, we were able to convince ourselves that the manufacturers were short-sighted, and did not see how glorious these billowing dresses could become.

The ladies tried them on and immediately found that the material was too thin, and over-exposed some of their more womanly virtues. But one of them, having an industrious mind, suggested we buy some cheap cotton material and line the garments so they would have a bit more–shall we say?–heft.

As it turned out, each caftan cost $3.28 and the lining set us back another two dollars. So for less than ten dollars, my band mates got an outfit that we not only wore all over the country, but was even displayed on the cover of our premiere album.

Now I know this doesn’t make much difference in your world, and you may have considered this story to be a bit of a yawn fest, but it reminds me of the fact that appreciation and gratitude, mingled with some creativity, go a long way to making a dollar bill seem like a miracle.

 

 

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Brighten

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brighten: (v) make or become more light.

The passing years have taught me to sniff out potentially awkward situations and therefore be able to avoid them.Dictionary B

It is a blessing in a station of life that is usually cursed with wrinkles, balding and intolerance for jalapenos.

But no matter how hard you try to scrounge out all the possible weird moments, something always slips through.

Maybe you’ll end up in the middle of an obtuse conversation about God, politics or climate change.

Sometimes you get stuck with a family member who normally is given kitchen duty so no one needs to talk to him or her.

Or all the preparations you made for a journey are mocked by your vehicle, which decides to have a mid-warranty crisis.

You’re trapped.

It is in those junctures that we discover the depth of our intelligence, the breadth of our faith and the circumference of our willingness.

If we could just make a covenant with one another to take all of these “itchy encounters” and decide to brighten them up with humor, passion and concern, the human race would not have to run so fast and could stop for water breaks.

When I was a child there was a song that was often performed on what my mother referred to as “the hillbilly shows.” (These were local broadcasts which offered Country Western music from people donned in bangles, sparkles, ruffles and various incarnations of cow hide.) Even though my mother made fun of them, she occasionally watched them, and one of the songs that stuck with me had a closing lyric which has always rattled around in my soul:

“Brighten the corner where you are.”

We all get cornered.

We can act like frantic bugs, fearing we’re on our last multiple legs–or we can try to turn that corner into some sort of miracle that we’ve been dreaming of for years–and pretend it is the best thing that ever happened.

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Brigadier

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brigadier: (n) a rank of officer in the army, above colonel and below major general.

Sometimes foolishness gets a pass, but it has to be legitimate foolishness. Dictionary BI’m talking about that fresh kind that just slipped out of your stupid brain because of your ignorance. If you’ve done foolishness before, you can’t claim that it’s “innocent foolishness.”

I did a foolish thing.

I was so young, self-inspired and full of false confidence that life decided not to punish me for my presumption.

My younger brother decided to join the army. Considering he had never even played with army men and walked with the sensitivity of a marshmallow, the idea was ludicrous. But it was in full swing before any of us realized that he had sauntered off to be a soldier.

The first we knew of it was upon receiving a call from basic training, where he pleaded for us to “get him out of there”–or he was going to commit suicide.

Now, I can discuss with you the unfairness of him placing me in that situation, but instead, I will tell you that in an attempt to be a good big brother, I called the army base where he was doing his imitation of G.I. Joe, and talked to a Brigadier General. Now, I don’t know exactly what a Brigadier General is, but it sounds a whole lot more important than me.

For some reason, he took my call. I don’t know why. Maybe he was just a nice guy. Maybe he couldn’t believe that someone was asking for his younger brother to be released from basic training.

His first inclination was to laugh at me. After all, you can’t maintain a volunteer army while promising a money-back guarantee. If everyone who was displeased with the accommodations at “Fort Kick Your Ass” was released immediately, we wouldn’t have enough soldiers to march in a small-town parade.

So on the first call he chuckled.

On my second call, he took the fatherly approach, explaining how the military works.

On the third call he appealed to my patriotism.

On call 54, he asked me if I knew how powerful he was.

But somewhere along the line, on the 93rd call, he paused. This is what the Brigadier asked me:

“You’re going to keep calling me until we release him, aren’t you?”

I replied, “You can just stop taking my calls.”

“Then I would have a suicidal assistant to deal with,” he presented.

I really don’t know what happened.

I don’t know if what I said made any difference at all.

But this fine Brigadier General realized that I was sincere and that my brother was not even suited to the rigors of being a back-up in the chorus line.

They released him.

It was a miracle.

But actually, it was an expansive piece of grace … granted by a man who was trained to be ruthless.

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Bittersweet

Bittersweet: (adj) sweet with a bitter aftertaste.

Dictionary B

There is a reality that follows every miracle.

A “morning after” to each and every excitement.

An epilogue to a happy ending.

There is an unwelcome balance in life which often tries to cloud the beauty of a single giddy moment with an overall coloration of gray.

It’s why the human race–through blessed by sunshine–still curses the rain. It just doesn’t seem to be even.

So we naturally begin to focus on problems. We worry. We conjure additional sadness, awaiting the next conflict.

This is why, whether you are in China, England, Japan, or the United States, you will meet human beings who are tinged with a little despair, waiting for the present flickering flame of joy to be blown out by a new foul wind of difficulty.

So is it mature to be cautious, since at any moment our sense of satisfaction can be dampened? Or is there a certain charm in ignoring the tribulation and instead, mustering a determined good cheer?

It is bittersweet

People will argue this until the day they die.

It is at that juncture that most of us hope we are wrong … that there really is a happy ending.

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Ampersand

dictionary with letter A

Ampersand: (n) the sign &, standing for and, as in Smith & Co

Must have been a hard sell.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate how the things we take for granted or assume were always around had to go through a process to become acceptable or even permissible.

Can you imagine the meeting?

Some guy or gal walking in, trying to convince everyone that the word “and” was so repetitive that every once in a while, changing it to this new configuration of an ampersand would be helpful to break up the monotony and obtuse traditionalism.

I don’t know–I might have objected. After all, it’s a slippery slope, right?? Pretty soon, we’ll be inserting pictures of frying pans to represent women and football helmets for men.

Where will it end? After all, how exhausting is it to write a-n-d? And also, after you figure out, with your pen, how to make the ampersand look respectable, you could have written “and” seven times!

It was definitely a public relations miracle, pulled off by some individual determined to simplify our lives, even if the simplification may have been over-simplified.

We must understand that the little victories that etch their way through the stone of committees and boards of scrutiny set in motion the possibility that if something important truly does come along, maybe a crack in the rock will let in some light.

So here’s to the person–whoever he or she is–who came up with the ampersand. It didn’t change anyone’s life. It didn’t heal the sick or raise the dead. It didn’t even leave an imprint in the wet cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

But it lets us know that ideas have a chance … even when they’re teensy-weensy.

 

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