I wake in deep thought… dear God, save me as my life is riddled with missing parts. An eternal flame burns for my father whose life was cut short, fifty-five years ago today, by carelessness. Though I am a product of divorced parents, no one can take the place of your biological Father.
I think of all those special moments in life I wasn’t afforded the luxury of my father. We couldn’t build a model together, fly a kite, or throw a ball. He couldn’t teach me to hunt or fish. He never taught me to drive, yet it I became the chauffeur to his own loving mom and dad. My dad never experienced my graduation day, though I pray he looked down upon me from heaven. He didn’t meet my important first date. Late at night, I cried myself to sleep for the many times I missed his love.
void I tried to fill was grander than a canyon. Nothing can fill the shoes left
behind of my six-foot-two, father. This morning, an eternal flame still burns
inside me, and I memorialize the father, I did without, in my entire life.
God, I know it is He that connects the bridges of all the days of our lives. My
time on earth is limited, too, as I look at my own son and ask God to watch
over him. Someday, maybe, he will understand the meaning of picking up the
phone and giving his dad a ring. Our moments are too short to waste on regrets.
listen to the busy world as it is getting underway, but I feel the warmth from
the Son shining down from heaven. It is God who has saved me in all my lonely days.
Many children grow up in a happy home, and I, too, wish I could claim the same.
sun is now covered by a swirling storm system. Still, an eternal flame for my
father will forever endure whatever weather arrives today. I pray God grants me
the moment I can stand by my Father again someday. I’ll give him a hug, he so
richly deserves, for making me the son I became in his honor.
was once said, “You can’t miss something you never had.” I strongly
disagree! You can’t imagine what it’s like to walk a mile carrying your own
father’s shoes. Yet here I am… throughout my life, without him here, beside me.
“God, my Father, I so pray Your holy hands will guide me all the rest of my weary days alone. Never lead me astray. I pray that not another child will experience the pain I’ve suffered and endured by the loss of my Father. Lord, let me be an example of Your love to other children who has had a parent pass to be with You. Hear my thoughts, on this day of memorial, and tell my father I said hello.”
I love you, Pop. May you rest in peace till the day we will walk in God’s light together.
The bobbing little
heads are so thankful to see me this morning. They’re grateful for the seed I
throw their way. It is amazing they know it’s safe to fly out of the trees and
eat, so long as I am there. Perhaps I am… a house of prayer for all my feathered
In my house of
prayer, my humbled heart guides my conscience. I cannot list the blessed gifts
God sent my wife and me in our short few years of marriage. But many people are
not so fortunate…
Some families lost
their finances, especially over the past few weeks. Others gambled their money,
and even life savings, instead of reading the laws of God. In a Christian’s
house of prayer, the Bible dictates this distinction:
Many abodes are
filled with “prized possessions” from floor to ceiling. We can witness this sad
condition on TV, such as “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and even “American Pickers.” Or,
shoppers fill their carts with unnecessary items after each paycheck to fill a
void in their heart. I must ask, “How can you love two Gods if you are a true Christian?”
This ill-fated, psychological condition promotes money and the love of physical
items. In this house of prayer, the Bible states:
We can easily find the standard salary of clergymen on the internet. It is far below the national average income. But some televangelists, who I call “false prophets,” steal from the poor to live in their dynasty. They build multi-million dollar lifestyles, believing they can buy into heaven’s gates. In their masonry house of prayer, the frigid winds blow through the cracks and crevices.
So, what kind of house
of prayer is your residence? Is your home blessed, or does Satan appear to
send signals of acceptable sin? If Jesus walked in your house today, would He
feel the warmth of love and graciousness? Could He easily place His hands on
Just like the little feeding birds, they eat only enough to fill their bodies. They, too, come to me for comfort. We should turn to God for life’s blessings. Share your bread, for it is His will you are supplied with His love, including the little birds that feed in your backyard.
I pray your life and home is a sanctuary, filled with God’s blessings and love. Be content with your basic needs being met and avoid materialism. It is only the flesh that yearns for the security of money. Our wealth belongs to God – and it’s a gift. Make Him first in your life. Only faith, prayer, and your walk in the light of God will bring you to His house of prayer.
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in life, our faith in God waivers in and out. We might roll our eyes when confrontation
is before us and shun the real strength we prayed for in difficult times. But then
we return to the very spot we waivered from in the beginning. Our Almighty God always
remains with us, though, with welcome arms and forgiveness of our bad decisions.
night my eyes were opened a little wider by a word God whispered to my
conscience. I woke in fear of trying to comprehend His message. So I picked up
my Bible for protection and tried to find the meaning of the word He sent me. As
many knows, I’m a man of great faith. I’m not a Bible scholar by any stretch of
the imagination, but I do my digging when times like this are derived from God.
I tell you what the Holy Spirit spoke to me, you must know this word is written
in scriptures only three times. It was used in the Old Testament in 543 B.C. by
Samuel. He, too, was a man of great faith who led the Israelites to a battle with
the Philistines for over forty years. The Israelites lost twice, but then
Samuel looked to God and set up an Ebenezer between two mountains. He said, “Lord
God, You are my stone of faith, my rock I shall not break.” (1 Samuel) Scriptures
say, “The Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw
them into such confusion that they were defeated by the Israelites.” From
that day forward, Ebenezer became the name of an altar for God to protect the
the bigger question is, why did God send me the word Ebenezer? Is it
because I, too, am fighting two personal battles, and God came to tell me it
will be Ok? Is it to inform you that your struggles are being watched over by
the Lord? Yes, all the above is true! Remember, your enemy is not greater than
God. He can make miracles occur with a stroke of His hand.
word for the day, Ebenezer, is the moment you realize you could not have
made it through the fires without God’s help. Your faith is like a stone, and
only God can bring you through these impeachable battles.
Ebenezer is as powerful of a word today as it was with Samuel in the Old Testament. We all bear our crosses, and as Christians, we must realize it is only God who protects us. Our awesome Father will come to our rescue in times of need. All you have to do is humbly pray for His help. May your Ebenezer be an altar as it was for Samuel. God bless.
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The empty colosseum
is packed full of reservations, and seats fill with great expectation. It’s a historical
day spectators longed to watch, so bets are placed in back alleyways. Peasants
mutter amongst themselves, “There’s no way this guy can win… just no way!” The
upper echelon dressed in their finest apparel. Shoes are shined, and the gloves
are donned. A gasp from the crowd signifies the arrival of dignitaries. Today,
May 1, 1884, a significant event in history will occur!
Hours before the gates opened for the crowds, Moses Fleetwood Walker stood alone on home plate. He leaned on his personal bat and knew he would be fighting Goliath. Moses was the first African-American man to play in Major League Baseball. No black man ever stepped foot on a baseball field. It was a fight to be a part of this lustrous history-making moment. The battle is on!
We must face
constant challenges in our life. Some battles we think we can never win, and yet
some are so great as was the case for David. He walked into the arena to fight his
opponent. Though David was a poor, peasant man, he was rich in his love for
Christ Jesus. His strong faith, just like Moses, was on his side, so how else,
but in God’s name, could he lose?
Moses Walker, too,
stood at home plate and looked over into the right field. He knew what he had
to do if he was going to conquer the masses. Would anyone accept a black negro
playing baseball? Moses, like his protégé, was about to change the world
forever and all by himself.
I leaned back in my chair and thought for a moment. Is there a way one man can make a difference in the world we share? I thought of Noah first, and then the Moses in the Bible. Some great inventors with blessed imaginations struggled with hardships. And… even Jesus ascertained the difficulty of changing the world. So, he encourages us to fight our Goliaths by staying in prayer. Believe God’s wonderful promise for He is always in control of your life. David knew he couldn’t lose if his faith stayed strong for we all must fight the earth’s serpents. This is how we can make a difference!
Many people suffer
from health issues which only a miracle can cure, and some struggle with finances.
Others fight the system while a few battles the governing authority despite their
honesty. Every living thing on earth grapples with trying times, but it’s how
you respond to the Goliaths that count. Remember, it is God’s purpose for you
to experience the adversities. What will you learn from them?
The shouting now
grows louder beyond the gates of the stadium. Moses Walker stands alone, just like
the Moses’ and the David’s before him. Armored with only a baseball bat and faith,
he is about to take on the world. How can he win? It’s simple – God, perseverance, and prayer. He is ready for
the pitches adversaries throw at him from every direction.
As the sun awakens
the long shadows, cast your doubts out the window. Perhaps say this prayer with
“Father, we ask You to be here with us in our times of dissolution. Help us focus on our future. Give us protection, Lord, while we stay in prayer and think of you. Help us discern the lesson You wish to teach us through every hardship. Thank You, in the name of our Father, for helping us fight the Goliaths of everyday life. Amen.”
It is only God who can bring us a promise and our greatest gifts. Faith is the internet messenger which sends prayers far beyond our imagination. While we stand on our own home plate, remember… you can’t make a home run if you don’t swing! Give it your best, in the name of the Almighty.
We found our way
around the yachts parked in their cradles. An empty spot was right next to the
dock. We quietly got ready to embark, and the cloudless skies made us wonder
how far off heaven was from the pier. The snoozing seagulls perched on the post
tops. As we set sail, the gentle breeze bellowed the fabric, and God became our
propulsion. The shores of the water looked so endless. It was a beautiful
Saturday morning, and no place would I’d rather be than with my love and God at
the helm. He created this perfect world of pristine water, and all we had to do
was sit and watch Him work.
Sometimes it is
difficult to accept God is with us day in and day out. Just as sailing into the
open blue, we do not realize we are always at His mercy. Many times our sails
luff and we pray as though we ran aground. As hard as life is, even doctors can
do little to relieve discomfort. In the distress of my wife’s health, I’m left
standing in a vacuum for everywhere I look, I see the remnants of the doctor’s
So, I turn to God
and ask Him if He has a minute. The hardest thing to do is… listen and wait for
His messages. Our faith is only part of the process. Listening for His answers
and reacting accordingly is the trick, so we must have a seeking heart. We
should talk to Him as though he is a brother and reveal our frustrations,
fears, and doubts. God will teach us how to recognize the difference between His
voice and just our thoughts.
Find a location to
be with Christ and His great mercy. The Lord always has a place open to sit
with me, especially on this endless journey my wife and I have encountered
today. I wish I could run away and take her sailing to the place called heaven,
but it’s not time yet. God gave us responsibilities we must partake and fulfill.
Instead, I will sit with God and try to
understand what advice I need to listen to and praise His great gifts. He united
the two of us for some much-needed healing in our difficult road of life. So, I
will carry her in every way I can possible. In His strength, we will travel as far
as the Lord’s work will need us to go for He isn’t done with either of us yet.
The hardest thing to do is listen for God’s words, but if you acknowledge His involvement in your life, you will always recognize His heaven sent voice. Praise God! It’s our intimate relationship with Him that counts.
My windows were wide
open, but tears resonating from the house next door hampered the refreshing molecules. I wondered…
what kind of man makes a wife cry? The sobbing was an every night occurrence. He
arrived home again and again, in the wee hours. She told me he worked late, but
I doubted it.
He opened the door
and kissed the kids goodnight while they stood at the mirror, brushing their
teeth. Without a kiss for her, he told his wife he was going out back to work
in the shop. “It relaxes me after a hard day’s work,” he claimed. She made
dinner, so he grabbed the plate of food and headed to his hideout. The pain
sharpened as a dagger twisted, once again, by his careless appearance. The back
door slammed again and silence.
He locked himself away
safely in the shed and pulled out a knife to snap off the top of a bottle
buried in the chest. Whittling his world away, he hid his sorrows in the bottom
of a longneck bottle. His state of mind included carving the names of his exes
in the bottom of his soles so he could save himself from sin. Several hours
later, he staggered to bed and slammed the door shut again. So, the screaming
begun behind the blinds. It’s a horrible life for a wife to witness and endure,
and only God could save the innocent from the terror of his conscience.
What kind of
Christian man puts his family on a bus Sunday morning and stumbles to the shed
for his own benediction? He opened another bottle for his personal communion. As
he stared at the ground, he chuckled at the buried empties; meanwhile, a poor twenty-something
mother of three, put on a face and filed into the aisle of a sanctuary. She has
no money for the offering plate and seeks only the strength to make it home.
I ask God in
heaven for His mercy. My heart is wrenched by a man named Christian who carves
his past in the bottom of his boots. His days are numbered… he will soon
discover if God doesn’t show His wrath first, then the bottle will. His wife bears
a name she hates so much, and her three little ones will have to endure the
legacy of their father’s misfortune. Are there prayers in heaven for a man who
calls himself Christian? I wonder…
The day will come
when the blood he bled will be no more. Three little children will have to fend
for themselves while their mother struggles to support their mere existence. Her
sacrifice is to put on an apron and do her best every single day. The kids now sit
on the porch and carve their past into the treads of their own little world. I
watch and pray God will bless this mess – the man called Christian, now left beneath
his unmarked tombstone. A coward at best, he carved his memory into his
children, and his reputation branded them for life.
I have changed the
names in this story. I ask God, in the name of Jesus, to save this family. God
bless the innocent, abused wife who slaves her life away and waits for Christ’s
return. She prays for the forgiveness of the hatred boiling inside her for a
man she thought she knew named Christian.
Allow me to ask
you Christian women and men, does this resonate in your heart? Or does it
familiar? Please use these verses to enlighten your soul and know you are not
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19
“A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth, but the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence” Proverbs 13:2
“Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways.” Proverbs 3:31
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught” Proverbs 3:24-26
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” Isaiah 61:1
approached the corner of a gorgeous, stately community. A large sign didn’t show
which direction to proceed, and its definition confused me. Marveled by the
message, I wondered if God was trying to tell me something. Dare I make a wrong
turn because some things seem so inviting yet sin lies just around the corner?
makes it abundantly clear we need to listen to His messages, but sometimes our
spirit disagrees with the subconscious mind. Second thoughts might lend
themselves to be valid than reality. God didn’t really place the sign but whoever
did, might be sent by Him. Sitting with my foot on the brake and profusely
sweating, how do I know for sure if it’s His warning sign?
is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that
you are not of God.”
instant, my car rumbled to a halt. Was it trying to tell me something? My mind went
in reverse as God made His presence known. I cried out for Him to save me
before I traveled further down the wrong road. I’m confident He saved me from a
you imagine the magnitude of our mistakes if we did not have a close
relationship with the Lord? We live in a world filled with signs, some good and
some bad. The sole way to distinguish the best ones is to have a heart committed
to understanding His words. This requires a heart fully surrendering to Him and
plenty of prayers. In our moment of silence, God will relay His guiding words.
the engine again and regained my composure. The car behind me honked his horn, so
I made a U-turn. I smiled at the driver and politely acknowledged I was in the
wrong with a hand signal. God also knew where I might be if I not heeded the
a safe bet to acknowledge God tries to save all His children who hang on the
brink of self-destruction. His voice speaks to us through the Bible, a friend, and
yes, even a sign now and then. But don’t be tempted to look for a quick answer
to the warning signs. God may not be finished revealing a situation to you. It
is all in His perfect timing.
important to understand the Bible has many stories of people doing exactly what
God wanted them to do, yet they still suffered hard times, persecution and even
death. After all, His idea of success will not be your own, and sometimes there
will be plenty of pain to endure along the road. Even in the darkest highways
of life, we still need to stick to His plans. This is obedience to His word!
sure of your directional heading? Then turn to God who needs to be your driver.
Follow the biblical legend, Jesus Christ, for the only way to get to heaven is
with an invitation from Him. I pray every day the heavens gleaming light will radiate
in your heart. The passion from heaven will transform you making life’s little
temptations so much easier for you to handle. Learn to read the warning signs. Christ
is here to help you if you let Him….. just don’t obey the warning signs of
your subconscious mind.
God watched an accident happen to a family of four, and by
His grace, the innocent victims walked away. I acknowledge the fact many do not
believe in miracles, but you may change your mind when you read this story. First,
let me state, a miracle is an event that would be impossible by natural law but
occurs by the power of God. It defies any rational explanations. With this
said, let me reveal a true event…
A house sat remotely on top of a high hill. This young
family cleaned up their yard, mowing the grass and weed whacking, while
enjoying a beautiful day of sunshine. A long hard day meant retiring to bed early.
The husband awoke in the wee morning hours to go to work. He was at his
employer’s facility when he received a frantic call from his wife. Their yard
was on fire! Hardly a way to start a day.
A worn extension cord, used for the weed whacker, laid across a metal threshold. Still plugged into an outdoor socket, it coiled across the lawn. In the calmness of the early morning light, a smoldering spark ignited. It burned and disintegrated sheds, fences, and all their personal items. Worse yet, their car was parked a mere two feet away from a propane tank which sat next to the melted shed. Bless the neighbors who lived at the bottom of their hill! They called the fire department while the wife and children tried to put out the fire with buckets of water.
Satan created this fire to interfere with their life. Raging
flames were seeking fuel, so it looked for a new direction; should it take aim
at the dwelling or the means of transportation? The fire miraculously looked
away and turned towards the woods on the hillside. Firemen jumped out of their
trucks with flame retardant attire and extinguished the flames jetted down the
The husband rushed home to meet the fire chief who rubbed
his brow and said, “Your family is lucky!” In a deep voice, as if from God
himself, he exclaimed, “Fires don’t burn downhill young man. This was a miracle
You must understand with every 10 degree of downhill slope, a fire will halve its speed. So, why did the flames move away from its fuel sources (a car and a propane tank) and go down a steep decline instead? Our loving Father, more powerful than Satan, safely guarded this family and home.
Though we may not give God the glory all the time, He still
never leaves our side. Today, my friends, I elaborate this true tale of valor as
His works are hard to deny in this situation. The stories of His miracles are
not just in the Bible. He still performs the unimaginable and the unexpected
today. I’ve witnessed more than I can count. If the Lord reveals His blessings,
such as in the account above, that is a testament to His grace.
Sometimes, our Father wants to bring us to our knees in prayer. Acknowledge and praise His name, and more than ever, give thanks.
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A hanging photograph reflects my life, or does it? The
sun’s glare creates a haze over the frame of remembrance for it looks a little vague.
Faintly in the distance, reflections of my life are reduced now to an eight by
ten. Who am I? I think I am nothing but a picture sitting on a shelf. My story
is the same as yours – a few captured moments of smiles. The rest of your
breath is consumed in some kind of drama or struggle.
I see our moments posing for the camera, but no one knows
what life is like when the cameras are not rolling, right? After a lot of thought,
I’ve narrowed it down… life is like moving the forest. It’s difficult at best. We
must start by asking for a helping hand.
So, today, I asked the Lord to make me strong and heal my
conscious mind. I started the morning in prayer as there’s no one else who can
help with my struggles, except “me, myself, and I.” But suddenly, I realized
the “I” in this cliché is God, not me! Yes, God is always with each of us, even
in the most obscure picture of life. The selfies we surround ourselves with will
only become complete after we learn it’s God who brings us to the here and now.
Subsequently, I decided to investigate the old cliché a
little further. Who is me in “me,
myself, and I?” I see it explicitly – me
is the body, Christ’s body!
Myself is the spirit of the Holy Ghost lying deep within our soul.
The I is our wonderful and loving God, ever present in all our circumstances.
God blesses us with life, hope, and truth and the power to go forward, moving the forest we call life. The kingdom of God was born within you! God bless!
Blurry Faces of the city is a series of illustrations of the people who are living around us but are rarely noticed and acknowledged in mainstream. I have attempted to see their lives and struggles as they go through the ordeals to keep themselves and their dependents alive – in hope for a better tomorrow.
Clock is about to strike 11 pm. We came out of a restaurant and started walking on the eastbound road alongside a now-slept market. On the road there are auto-rickshaws lined up with their drivers wandering around looking for passengers. Some auto-rickshaws are rushing down the road and some others slowing down to ask if we are intended to go somewhere. Some of them would try to guess the place we are likely to go and shout – ‘So and so much money for blah-blah place… Get in!’ We would answer some and ignore others. I know it is their daily practice so it hardly makes a difference what we really say. Deal is – are we getting into it or not? Actual listening would start only after either we nod to a fixed amount or the meter is down – which would be rare thing to happen so mostly for us and for most of the commuters it is the first one.
Amidst this, a police car came and from it a policeman wearing a washed away shade of standard-brown-police-uniform shouted on the owners of the roadside food stalls to close the business. Meanwhile a companion of the theirs, a motorcycle-ridden policeman, patrols the adjacent alleys and then signaled one of the stalls to bring food to the police car.
This must have been a routine for these stall owners and the patrolling party too.
We kept walking towards the end of this market where there is a traffic signal – mostly ignored by all during this time of the night. Just before the signal, around a corner standing in ebony skin was a thin boy of age around 17 with his ice-cream trolley.
He had his skeleton prominently visible. All the features of it – the cheek bones, eye-ball sockets, collar-bones, elbows. His head appeared large though – due to unkempt hairs those fashioned a brownish color owing to dust gathered in them.
One can easily be startled by an ‘apparently unprecedented’ form of living being when least expecting. Not even in figment of imagination I would have thought this structure of bones, flesh and blood.
So I reacted, – “What are you doing on this side of the road!? There are no restaurants or anything luring for people to crowd around!”
“Cars stop here sir.”, came a reply riding on a voice that was sure of itself but also a little sad. “They buy from me. I am here for those customers.”, he added sounding defending his ground.
“Why not move a little closer to the market behind the bus stand?”, I said almost rhetorically.
“There is already a trolley on the northern corner. Two of us can’t sell together, we have to cover larger area, plus we have to follow a strategy of being visible at a certain place in continuation of positions – a series of trolleys placed at a certain distance from each other would form such a chain that would induce the ‘desire’ by repetitive stimulous to vision and mind”, he spoke in authoritative and compelled voice while narrating his sales plan.
He was getting into it. I’d drawn him into a conversation now. Earlier it was merely asking and answering. By this time, I had understood that he could talk more freely now. His body language suggested that he was at ease and the cover of defense that mind had created was gone.
I could see him more clearly now, for now he didn’t feel embarrassed, or offended, when I ‘stared’ at him.
Those eyes could not have been more alert and skin did not wear wrinkles and a nice bath would have had brought-out a smooth chocolaty tone instead of grainy and dusty brown one.
Teeth were surprisingly white against the common notion about tobacco eating mouths and surely one would have been able to count all the ribs if he’d took off his yellow-brown shirt.
He probably read my thoughts for he spoke suddenly, “I’ll put on some weight once my worries are over sir.”
I looked at him in awe and he went on with his story of leaving his village in Buxar (Bihar)and coming to Delhi to work in a factory that produced packaging items.
There came a mention of his father and his eyes lit up, his hands clutched the pushing-bar of his trolley harder as if they were the hands of his father whom he probably has longed to grab and cry, sharing his ordeals. It became ‘necessary’ to talk about something else to do away with the emotional overwhelm.
“So which ice-cream do you like?”, I made an attempt to change the subject but came no reply from the him. I felt a little embarassed to ask such a stupid question after a heavymoment. I, however, threw away that feeling and asked another question.
“When do you start your sale?” I asked, while pretending to read from the items’-chart hanging from the top of the trolley.
“From afternoon 3.”, he glanced at that menu chart and looked away on the road to our right.
“And when will you go home?”, I continued.
“I am waiting for some friends, the other trolley manning men, who would be going with me. It is risking life and property to travel alone on these roads due to some anti-social elements who will strip you of everything and wouldn’t hesitate to put a knife into you, so we go in groups.”, he said gravely while his forehead frowned.
The timing of this response could not have been worst, so to lighten the air I asked, “For how much did you sell today?
“Not much – only 1200 Rupees. Usually I make 2000-2500.”
“I understand that that money goes to the company. What do you get?”
“16% of my sales amount.”
“So you get it monthly?”
“I wouldn’t survive on monthly salary if it is this less! I keep my 16% every day… and I don’t like ice-cream sir.”
His friends arrived and he left with them; talking while waving hands animatedly. Sharing stories from the day. Sharing their common worries and pacifying what’s there to pacify.