Do you offer to help … or look away, embarrassed? Is that guy worthy of charity … or a con artist? How can we know?
That’s one of many timeless topics Terry Pluto (“the sportswriter who writes about faith”) tackles in this fourth collection of his popular “Faith and You” column.
Terry doesn’t write about religion or the hot-button, culture war topics in the headlines.
He writes about everyday faith.
Things like dealing with “family mess” such as troubled adult children or an addict in the family … Coping with cancer … Coping with strokes … Loneliness. … The death of a loved one … Dealing with life in a nursing home …
“My column has more questions than answers sometimes,” Terry says. “And often the answers come from someone other than me. Just like in real life.”
And Other Thoughts on Faith in Everyday Life
Paperback book / 233 pages
Terry has pre-autographed books for sale via this website. To be sure of an autographed copy before the holidays, please order today.
The Red Barn, The Super Bowl and My Cellphone
Dealing with the Tough Stuff
The Guy with the Sign
Prayer, Heaven, God and You
Parents and Us
Energy Vampires and Other Relationships
So This is Christmas
Can I Forgive Myself?
Family Mess: We All Have It
The Civil War and Us
It is easier to say ‘my tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’”
C.S. Lewis wrote that in his book The Problem of Pain.
When I have spoken in jails and elsewhere, I’ve often asked, “Do we learn more from pleasure or pain?”
The answer comes back quickly—pain.
I wrote about the March 10, 2021 death of Joe Tait, the Cavs’ broadcaster and one of my closest friends. Joe was in a lot of pain as he dealt with bladder and colon cancer, a major blood clot in his leg and kidney failure. He’d occasionally joke how he wondered what malady “would get me first.”
Most people don’t die of one thing unless there is an accident or tragedy. It’s a combination. Just as most of us don’t really lose our temper over one comment or incident. It’s a product of what happened during the day.
“Death by a thousand paper cuts,” is a phrase that comes to mind.
Or a thousand frustrations, even if it’s a few that repeat over and over.
THE REAL PAIN
When Joe and I talked about death, life and time running out, he insisted more than once, “I’m not afraid to die.”
It wasn’t a defiant statement. It wasn’t designed to sound spiritual because Joe said he wasn’t sure about God or an afterlife. It was almost as if he was reading the final score of a Cavs game as he was signing off his broadcast.
But part of what ached his heart was leaving behind his wife, Jean. She had been in an Alzheimer’s unit for more than five years. It’s been longer than that since she called him by name.
“Sometimes, she’d say ‘husband,’” said Joe. “But mostly, I was some guy who showed up every day at dinner time to help feed her.”
But even that was taken away when COVID-19 hit and visitors were kept out of extended senior living facilities. Most of us believe Joe kept Jean in his home for a few years longer than it was wise. He knew she was slipping away mentally and feared it would be worse if he wasn’t always there for her.
Joe was very thankful for his family and good friends. But there are always things we wish we hadn’t done or said. We talked about that in our lives. One of the subjects was how many parents beat themselves up emotionally for not always having “been there” for their kids. At times, that’s true.
But parents sometimes forget those children grow up and make their own decisions. We can’t “make” them do anything. …
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