Show me the Money

I need Him to show me the money, a friend recently told me over the phone.  It’s my “friends friend who has also become my friend, the one that is not long for this world. He called me on the phone for the first time to also ask if I could help him get his house in order. He has been putting so much time in his work on the vintage cars that his house has been neglected, he said. People that would drive by used to stop and tell him how great his yard and home looked. He needs to get the paint brush out and do some touching up and he would like me to help.

I’ve been having some flashbacks, he said. Flashbacks of the fun times I used to have when I was younger. He is also thinking about death and what happens after. I need Him to show me the money he would repeat, talking about God and the need of proof that there is an afterlife.  I told him that it sounds like he has had an interesting life.  He said that was true and that he was raised in Tahiti by his mother until he was 16. He started talking about the time he was a back-up singer with Rita Coolidge singing back-up for the Captain and Tenille and Delaney and Bonnie. I said, you’re kidding. You sing? Heck yes, he said. I was in love with Rita Coolidge.  Then he said he had been thinking about the great time he had with Dickey Smothers when he lived in Marina Del Ray California.  He worked on his outboard motor on his boat the year of Dick’s divorce and how they would drink beers together and talk about how he did not want his wife to get his boat! He asked me if I knew who John Ford and Earl Flynn were? I told him yes and he said he worked on their cars. Then he started talking about Dan Blocker, Haas, on Bonanza and how he overhauled the engine on his Chris Craft boat. He said, Dan was a very big guy and was gentle speaking and intelligent. My head is swimming with all the celebrity name dropping. Heck, I remember watching the Smothers Brothers and Bonanza on a regular basis as a kid. And now I’m talking with a man in the mountains about life after death and overhauling celebrity boat and car engines….

The conversation takes the path to the subject of life after death again. I just need him to show me the money, he repeated. I said something about grace and creation and the beautiful land he lived on. I said, there”s your money! I wasn’t sure where I was going with that and prayed to God to help me with this conversation. This tough proud expert mechanic and I’m finding out, singer too, is feeling vulnerable and I decide to mostly listen because this is one hard topic.  I mean, we are talking about the existence of God and the afterlife.  I recently read an article about how when we are at the most vulnerable with a life threatening illness we are more open to having God in our life. Not out of desperation, but our defenses are down. God is always there, we are just more open to him. We become more human and divine at the same time.

And then the subject goes back to having me come help him do some things around his land and house. I explain that I’m right in the middle of tourist season, but yes I will find some time. He said he would pay me and I tell him that the only payment I would accept is to have him teach me to fish the South Platte. He said he needs to go fishing Sunday, but he has so much to do.  I tried to talk him in to keep his date with the fishing plans.

Our conversation bounces around about flashbacks of good times, how life is so short, the desire to have proof of heaven and afterlife,  and me coming up to help. I mention to him that he seems like such a social person and why has he become a recluse in the mountains. He had a quick answer. I am not a recluse. My place represents freedom and safety! I said, yes it is all beautiful. I liked his answer. Well that was basically the only firm answer we came up with during this conversation.  We both agreed that it is not cool that life is so short and that it is scary to be close to the end. We talked about the anxiety of it. I told him that the verse from Isaiah, “Be still and Know that I am God” is my prayer and mantra when I feel anxiety about the future. There was a little pause in the conversation and I told him I would call him when I returned from my visit with my grandchildren and we will make plans after that and that I really wanted to go fishing with him too. He told me to make sure and have fun. I thought the same about him.  Have fun, be still and Show me the money!

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