A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life


I was waiting in line at a fast food restaurant at lunch today when the man beside me said, “It sure is a beautiful day out there.” Surely it was. Cloudless blue sky. Sun. Light breeze. Slightly warmer than frigid.

He went on to say that he was from a Midwestern state and would be moving here this summer. He was visiting, looking for farmland to purchase. “Oh, what kind of farm?” I asked. “Crops, cattle, horses?” He told me that he was a ‘general’ farmer – a little bit of everything. He’s farmed for years and his family owns a farm outside of a city in the state just north of here, about an hour or so away. I’m quite familiar with that area. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and I told him so.

This is where a seemingly innocent, friendly conversation went sour.

“Whole place is going to hell,” he growled. “Damn tree-hugging, homosexual-loving, pagan, ultra-liberals are taking the place over.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather. How had such a pleasant conversation turned so ugly in just a few seconds? Yes, this city is different from most. It’s a bit Bohemian, very diverse, very green, very accepting, and very artsy. That’s why I love it. Do I stick out like a sore thumb when I walk the streets of their downtown? Probably. Still, I love it.

I was momentarily speechless. That’s probably not a bad thing since nothing I could ever say would make a difference to someone like this. I silently thanked God that my order came up at about that time.

“You’ll have a hard time finding another place that displays God’s beauty as well,” I said quietly as I walked away, “but good luck.”


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4 thoughts on “Speechless

  1. Great comeback.I really don’t understand why some people think that sort of thing is appropriate or pleasant conversation with a complete stranger.

  2. What is in one’s heart always comes out ones mouth doesn’t it?

  3. Don’t you hate that speechless feeling. There HAS to be a way to pull out what ELSE is in that person’s heart, and some people are so deft at it…I don’t have the skill. Not yet anyhow.

  4. About the same time as I was in the process of moving to my southern state, I was waiting in a session room before baptizing my nephew. In casual conversation about my upcoming move one elder said, “that’s where you are moving? Maybe you can do something about all of the homosexuals there.”Long pause.Another pause.“Yes. I hear it is a lovely place.”What can you say?

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