ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Living, Lives on and Dead

Updated on August 5, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

A Long Road

Angels along the way.
Angels along the way. | Source
Source

True

We meet disaster and triumph and treat those two imposters just the same said Kipling. Living takes courage, to live on takes a life of important and I am not sure about dead. A spider can be squished dead but can a man ever really be dead. Living a life can be bad or good. A person that lives on can be bad or good. Are we living the good life? What will live on after we pass? Will we ever be dead?

I was snowed in at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). And you scoff at me saying that it never snows in Los Angeles. Yes but! If weather is real bad where you are going to land you do not take off only to be turned around. Frozen solid on the East Coast so we were moribund on the west. Palm trees swaying in the breeze as we were “snowed” in.

We were there for a “red eye” flight into NY, NY. Figure it was about midnight and us “suits” were hunkered down in a Mexican food restaurant/bar. Something clicked in my head and instead of shots of tequila and swigging down Corona’s I was nursing a Michalada and plate of tamales. The place was packed but I can look mean and angry to a point where people avoid sharing my table. A trick I learned in Europe ’72. A rather rotund handsome gentlemen asked to share the table. Of course I was glad for some company. He was affable in a very calculated intelligent way. I think he ordered a martini which he really only took whiffs of. A good bit unspoken time. Good company. I simply cannot remember the year.

He wore a special ring. Looked like an alumni ring. His suit was probably adjusted by a tailor but not Italian silk. He had a crook in his neck but sat upright and dignified. His hands looked like mine, battered from brawling. I noted a strange kind of roll to his left shoulder. I just had to ask where he had boxed. Clearly a career of it at some point and probably a good one based on his clothes and clear confidence.

He smiled crooked and asked if I knew the song “Bo Jangles”. Of course I did to a point of being able to sing it and dance to it. He smiled again and said “throughout the South”. I got his point, he was no “in the ring” fighter. I immediately offered to buy him a water as I signaled the waitress. An old joke as a time spent like a Hobo I learned to pay for even water out of the tap. The man got it and said he had to pay for water for a spell. (little did I know, for a different reason)

I Have No Right To Meet Angels

Easier to Believe

A good long quiet time as we were clearly lost in our thoughts alone yet together. That is a sweet spot for fellow travelers marooned in a city of angels. A gentlemen came up and asked about having our empty chair. He was coifed to a stylish New England flair. My new friend said of course and I finished it by saying he could have it if he moved it to another table. Gratitude was in the eye of my new friend. And I noticed in the dim light that he was indeed bone weary and was in no need of company.

I figured it was time to up the stranger game and took a coaster and wrote my name with Dr. attached. I told him that was my business card and did he have one. His was simple, just “John”. Fair enough I figured.

I leaned over and asked him if he knew that very large man in the loose suit staring at us from time to time. John indicated he did and it was just fine. I of course offered my chair in exchange for the bar stool the large man engulfed. Perhaps they would like to sit together I figured and no skin off my nose. The offer was declined with a funny reference that the man needed to be where he was. By about now I decided to drink a bit heavier, but stick with beer. The public address system came to life and told us only another hour or so.

I noticed a bit of a glint in his eye. Assumed it was the news of a soon departure. But fished out a penny from my trousers and tossed it across the table. He stopped it with his left hand and I could tell he knew the game. But a fast man always stops the penny, by instinct. “A Penny for your thoughts Mr. John.” He was obliged as he held the penny.

“I was smiling at you” he responded. You don’t ask too many questions. And you don’t make small talk. That is different than where I now work and live. I of course only nodded. This time it was coffee I ordered with just a small dip of brandy – two, coffees that is.

It was then I noticed his “brief” case. Worn hard leather. More of a keepsake than a utility. Shoes the same. I conjured up who would have an obvious protection detail old shoes and an old attaché bag. Dignified yet with a confidence made both of battles won and battles lost.

My Father-in-Law was an Army Ranger

I miss him so much.
I miss him so much. | Source

Is It Wind of an Angel That Lifts Us?

Hard to Remember and Harder to Forget

About at that time the man on the stool stood up in a posture like a good linebacker in football. Ready in any direction and poised to pounce with major intensity. A drunken man stumbled up to our table. “John” waived his “bulldog” off. And the man asked for a signature. A nice looking cream colored black man who was probably just fine sober. The wish was granted and the drunk effusively thanked Mr. Lewis. I figured that by the accolades “John” was actually a boxer or some renowned. I could just feel the intensity of the bulldog and nearly bid my farewell. I can fight but not against a pro.

Well we eventually boarded different flights, his to Washington D.C. and mine to nowhere real NY, NY.

In NY I asked a man if there was a famous boxer I did not know of named John Lewis. “Really!?” was the answer. I told him I met a man with that name and someone asked him for an autograph. A bull of a man with nothing left to prove. I described him. The man laughed his butt off right there in a meeting.

Turns out Mr. John Lewis was famous alright. Turns out I had him pegged as a brawler. Turns out he was a champion. Turns out I was visited in LAX by an angel and did not recognize him as such.

Living? For sure he was. Living on, for sure he does but I ain’t so sure of that dead part. He will forever live in my heart that memory will forever live on and there is not one thing about him that will ever be dead to me.

So we muddle on through life. Not really knowing coming or going. Special folks treat us with kindness. Maybe if we are blessed we treat them with kindness. Some of us go from battle to battle without real purpose. Others go from purpose to purpose with real battle.

Love of others is a special treat to be found. People who lay down their lives for others are treasures. Let us give divisiveness a holiday and celebrate good men with their busted knuckles and all.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Dora. I will.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, this is great story-telling, wonderful climax and conclusion. Write some more like this, please. Thanks!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill it makes me happy that you liked this piece -- thanks.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thank you for sharing your story. another "much to ponder piece". Now I know what "snowed in" really means!

    • Rania Heikal profile image

      Rania Heikal 

      6 weeks ago from Egypt

      Fantastic experiences!

    • Rania Heikal profile image

      Rania Heikal 

      6 weeks ago from Egypt

      I really enjoyed this story telling article. Liked it so much that I wished it were longer as a novel. Really you are talented. Thank you For the interesting piece.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Devika, I did not know it was at the time.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Eric your story is incredible!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Linda. I have been quite blessed to have lived through so much.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting article, Eric. How wonderful to have met John Lewis! It sounds like you have had some great experiences.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 weeks ago from SW England

      Great!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, Brian my big brother does a series -- Big Adventures with Brian Dierker. Of course he does not have as many visits as I do -- LoL. Most of them folks I need to reckon with.

      We are blessed in the country.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 weeks ago from SW England

      What a bucket list that must be! You never cease to amaze me.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann in a previous life I was a civil rights advocate/attorney. 1983 and Unruh cases. When I talked to the man, he just inquired of my family. I have a bucket list with nothing to do but call the old farts that formed my life.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      I have been further informed by Linda Lum who put me straight on a few pieces of information regarding this man. How amazing that you met him and in such circumstances, and then remained in touch.

      Living on indeed.

      Ann

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      You must have known, Eric. Isn't it strange when that happens? So good that you talked before he died and what a marvellous experience you had together!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann I just lost a mentor. In his 80's and suffering from my same type of cancer. For some reason I just had to call him up and chat for an hour or so. He died less than 24 hours later.

      What a blessing for both of us.

      (he taught me how to paddle a boat through the Grand Canyon)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Linda. I still wonder about that night. What if I had chosen to drink too much and forget? What if the signature was not asked for. No snow on the East Coast.

      I now think it was '93 but not sure.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      I had no idea who John Lewis was (here it's the name of a department store!) but I looked him up so now I do know.

      This is brilliant, Eric! As soon as I saw the title I knew it would be a goodie. Living is one thing but when someone lives on, in a loved one's mind, in the nation's mind or just by word of mouth, then that is something. If they live on for bravery, kindness and such, then all the better.

      My parents live on because they are in my heart and mind every day and I often talk to them. My family mention them often too.

      Your philosophy here teaches us much. Thank you Eric.

      Ann

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      7 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Wow, Eric. Just . . . wow! You are a master story teller. I held onto every word and had no clue who your mystery man was until the very end. This has to one of your best articles ever.

      Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nell from what I now know, it would be the toughest angel ever. John Lewis suffered mightily for what he believed in. Our entire country is better because of him.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill thanks, I have been blessed.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 weeks ago from England

      A fascinating story! So, was he or wasn't he an Angel? Great read thanks

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Flourish. I am sure I will. I really hadn't thought about it in years, but now it lives on.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cristine I like your perspective. Expect blessings.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great story, my friend. Greater lessons! You made my day with that one, Sir!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      7 weeks ago from USA

      I’m sure you will always hold this encounter dear.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Cristine Santander 

      7 weeks ago from Manila

      Nice encounter, at times life has some surprises. We should always be expectant of life's surprises. Blessings.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela thank you. I think we are blessed well for we do our best to bless others. At least let us keep trying.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      It is amazing how we experience something we always remember in a few minutes in any given setting. I really enjoyed your true story, Eric. That meeting is something you will probably always remember. People are so interesting as we meet them from different walks of life. I agree with you that love of others is a treat. Be well, Eric. God bless.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)