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We loathe hurtful people.  We have a particular distaste remembering when hurtful people turn their hate on us.  What normal humans relish in being reviled?

Maybe for you it was during a family gathering and the whispering started when you walked into the house.  Small groups of people stopped their conversation.  Some stared at you with that smile of mockery.

Or perhaps it was at the office.  Across the way near the water cooler three co-workers were whispering as they stole a glance or two in your direction.  When you stared back they acted as if nothing was happening.

Worse yet, possibly it was at church when you were tortured with piercing words.  They made you the victim of their gossip.  To top it off they had the audacity to consider themselves and their fellow slanders the righteous ones.

Anyone who has led or anyone who has tried to accomplish anything knows what it is like to have a chunk of their heart torn out by those who practice hate.

What if that pain in your past could be removed as if it never happened?  If a wave of a hand could make it all disappear, scars and all?  Jesus did that for us when He died on the cross.

We needed miracle in our lives.  The pain was so excruciating that we sinned in response.  We traded insult for insult.

Now, tired and weary of the pain we looked for redemption.  Jesus gives it to us through His sacrifice on the cross.  The guilt and pain are placed on Jesus.

He takes it all and pays the price to get rid of it all forever.  Do you feel the relief?  But, there is more!

He not only made our hurt from others disappear it was so powerful He took away the act of the gossips go away too.  All of the world’s sins were taken on by Jesus on to Himself as He died on the cross for them all.  That is a good sacrifice.  That is why the Friday commemorating Jesus’ death is called Good.

While the Savior hung on the cross, people mocked him.  They spit on him.  They threw things at him.  He felt the hate for us.

He was beaten with angry hands.  A whip tore his flesh.  Worst of all the Father abandoned him because that was the price of sin.  He felt all this for us.

The darkness of separation from the Father did not last for the Son.  It was over.  Jesus declared, “It is finished!”  Good words on our Good Friday.

IMG_1504So many of us have been surprised by the Minions of Despicable fame.  They aren’t even the star character in the Universal Pictures animation movie.  In fact they are extras that have risen to stardom almost by accident.

Now, in toy stores and pictorial renditions of favorite characters, the Minions surpass the original stars of the film.  Felonious Gru was a star but his character doesn’t stick in the memory like his little Minions.  The morphing of the super villain from interstellar thief to nurturing parent is enhanced with the supporting cast of innumerable minions.

Margo, Edith and Agnes are adorable.  While I was watching the story, I wanted to adopt those three wee ones! But, there was something about those Minions.

Vector was the ideal villain of villains.  He was dastardly.  You didn’t like him.

It felt good to root against him.  When he succeeded it was disappointing.  His achievements made you cheer on Gru!  But, still there were the Minions.

Didn’t those little guys make you smile?  Their jabbering made you chuckle.  Sometimes laughing out loud was just the right response.

The first time I saw them on the screen, I they reminded me of Hostess Twinkie.  Since then I haven’t met a soul who thought the same thing.  Oh well, maybe I’m a little out of touch.

There’s something about characters who make you react the way we do.  Real humans could pay attention to a life truth here.  Too many people miss this.

In each of our lives we will influence other people.  Those people will rarely remember the words we speak or the deeds we do.  However, they will almost always remember how we made them feel.

The same wisdom comes from that ancient adage, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Some of us who are educated beyond our moral capacity to implement that information productively, sometimes forget this truth.  Instead, if we impress others, embarrass others, win arguments at others’ expense, then we feel a measure of satisfaction.

The Minions are a great reminder of just making others feel good because we have come into the lives of others.  Influence people for good.  It is a great way to live.

photo credit: brucefong photography

IMG_5772It is only a scratch.  It is only a scratch? Why would anyone do that and not leave a note to fix it?

My truck is important to me.  It is very important to me.  I take very good care of it and want it to last for many years.

Yes, I even have a name for my truck.  His name is Yoda.  As its manufacturer is Toyota, hence its name is Yoda.

This is my third truck over the years that I have been on this earth as a legal driver.  It is my second Toyota.  Of all my trucks this one is my favorite.

It can take me anywhere I want to go.  This truck will move anything that I need to transport.  As far as personal rigs go this one not only is amazingly functional, it is also well designed and aesthetically sharp-looking.

My bride and I came out of the grocery store.  As we approached our steed of faithful miles, it was standing where I had left him.  But, my approach was mixed with shocking disbelief.

FullSizeRenderThere on the side of my truck was someone’s signature.  No it was not a name.  It was a long deep scratch.

The depth of the scratch was not something that I could rub out like a scuff mark.  This one was so deep that it took the paint off and gashed my door so uneven that the white paint highlighted the dark underbelly of the layers of paint.

I was not sick over the discovery.  It was just one of those, “Oh, well, what can you do?”  It is not worth the expense to report for insurance coverage.

Gently, I stoked my hand across the wound.  My head shook with disgust.  “What a waste,” I surmised.  Some people just are careless and don’t give a rip.

If someone does not care about keeping their car up then I do not judge them.  Nor do I intrude on their lives and shame their irresponsible behavior.  But, if I am victimized by someone’s misstep then at least leave a note with the pertinent information.

Do people really just assess damage for others and conclude what they need to do or not do?  Are they objective and concerned about the victim’s assessment?  Are they really happy with leaving and blowing off the episode as “no big deal”?  This is annoying but, what can a person do?

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

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