Fall has finally come to Tucson. 100+ days are a fading memory.
The cacti, trees, and bushes look thirsty again.
The lizards stopped doing heat-induced push-ups.
The Catalina mountains have returned to tan-brown after a very brief stint of tinged-green.
As Ernie and I rode the city bus to work downtown, the temperature inversion made Tucson look trapped in a dirty hazy.
I was thinking these thoughts and picturing these things when Ernie interrupted, “Do you think we should just give up?”
“Give up what?” I turned my face toward him although I avoided looking him in the eye.
Ernie straightened up and spoke to me as if I was a classroom of one. “I prayed earlier and wondered out loud God can you prevail in this chaos or should we all just give up?”
I looked blankly at Ernie and said, “Really?”
“I should confess,” Ernie lamented, “generally I think we don’t think God is really present in the here and now…”
“Hmm,” I inserted, listening intently.
“I don’t think we think God knows what he is doing …”
“I don’t think we think God can be trusted …”
“Further, I think we should personalize this …”
“We should switch we to I …”
“Um, OK. Meaning?”
Ernie taught on. “God I don’t think you’re here …”
“God I don’t think you know what you’re doing …”
“Aren’t you scared to talk like that?
“God I don’t think you can be trusted. I’m giving up.” Ernie concluded.
“That seems blasphemous,” I said.
“Fine, but I see now that whether you or I think so, in our chaos God is here. God knows what to do. God can be trusted.”
I mulled over that.
“So,” Ernie asked, “What do you think?”
I gave him a non-committal, “Interesting thought.”
The bus doors opened with a swoosh. We stood. Shuffled to the stairs and stepped into the new work day.