The Gross National Debt

Monday, August 31, 2015

Flat tires, egg sammiches and doing the right thing

Before you continue, read this.

I give you one phrase from me bud Paul's discourse: "right in all the ways that matter."

What is right? What is wrong? 100 years from now, will it matter? Bugger that. Does it matter right now?

This is going to sound like self-aggrandizement and it may be. However, this is how I settle things in my mind, by writing them down. Sometimes it's a canoe trip down a placid river. Other times it's a ride into a black hole. If yer still with me, grab a chicken handle with one hand and a paddle with the other. Let's ride.

Lemme give you some background.


What's got my philosophy in high gear today is Sunday night's prison visit. As some of you know, I go to prison regularly. I talk with the inmates. Some people who preach to the inmates. I talk with them. As in interactive when them talking to me as I talk to them.

Some people will say this is an unconventional way to deliver a sermon. These people don't know much about me. Some people will say this is the wrong way to deliver a sermon. To each his own.

Come to prison with me.


Being pentecostal, I'm accustomed to shouts, yells, people getting up and acting like they got a dose of St. Vitus and or like they're at a heavy metal concert (in case you don't know about St. Vitus). Prisoners don't act that way. They can't. In the more than 12 years I've been going to prison, inmates have stood up during the sermon in a gut reaction less than five times. Guys have broken down crying more than a dozen times. Sunday night, two guys stood up and said "This pain is nothing!" They promptly sat back down. If yer pentecostal you understand. If yer not, I can't explain it.

Over the years, five guys have made an attempt to keep in touch with me. Two reached out more than once. Ah so.

Hey, call me.


This is really what I can't get over.

After Sunday's service, a guy comes up to me. He asks where I live and if there is an empty building behind my house. I give a noncommital reply.

"You gave me an egg sandwich."

Say what?

"I ran out of gas behind your house. You gave me an egg sandwich. I was drunk. You let me use your phone. I called my momma to bring me some gas. I had a white bulldog. You gave me an egg sandwich."

He turns to another inmate.

"I told you it was him. He gave me an egg sandwich."

The gent said this was about a year ago. It was more than 10 years ago as I remember. Certainly not a year ago. The building behind my house is now a store and has been for more than two years.

The story of the egg sandwich is now all over the prison. In a year, it will be mystical prison lore. In two years, it'll be completely forgotten, except by a few who are no longer there.

Come have a meal with me.


What would you do? A guy pulls up in the vacant lot next to your house. It's morning and he's already the side of toast for breakfast. Got a dog with him. Out of gas. What would you do?

As I live on the second most famous road in the United States, having people in various states of vehicular distress at my door happens. Flat tires. Out of gas. Other problems. What would you do?

Have had college students selling books, kids books which I bought, come to the door. Brought 'em in and fed 'em a meal if it was close to meal time. Had other people ask for help. What would you do?

Never give money. Never. A drive to get some gas, yes. A meal, yes. Some tools to change a tire, yes. Pulling their vehicle to a shop, done that too. What would you do?

Years ago I fed a guy an egg sandwich. Now he's in prison. Now he's talked with me while sober. Now, I'm feeding him something entirely different.

What would you do?

Come lend a hand with me.


To all my haters out there, to those who want me fired, to those who want me crucified, to those who threaten me, what would you do? To all the people who condemn me, attack me, insult me, what would you do? To the people who can't believe some of the things I've done, what would you do?

Walk with me. I'll bring the egg sammiches.

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