Captain Cod & The Cosmic Drain • A Short Story

Instead of writing a novel over the month of the National Novel Writing Month, I’m writing the first draft of a short story a day. Using a random genre generator and a list of words for the month, I’ll get a bit to go on, otherwise I’ll write the story that wants to be told. Enjoy!

November 2, 2022


  • Word:“Cod”
  • Genre: Kid Lit
  • Setting: Deep space

It might be fun to listen to this music from an outfit called “Space Cod” as you read:

“Turn off that blasted alarm!”

Captain Cod took a moment to breathe as Finn, his ship’s computer, doused the alarm that had been blaring, alerting them that the Barracuda was in danger of exploding. An exploding ship is never a good thing for a captain, especially when you’re the captain of a ship exploding in deep space.

But the silence helped, and it was good to feel the fresh water on his gills as the oxygen cleared his brain.

“Think, Cod, think!”

Captain Cod had been in tight spots before, but this might just be the tightest. The Barracuda was trapped in the gravitational pull of a cosmic drain, and was in danger of being reduced to atoms if he didn’t figure out how to escape.

“Finn, what is the status of the babies?”

“As far as I can tell, they haven’t gone anywhere!” the computer sputtered. “We’re doomed! Can I turn the alarm back on?

“No!” Captain Cod shouted, regretting for the millionth time that he’d opted for the computer with emotional output. Although it was helpful when working through his issues of being abandoned as an egg. Not many therapists in deep space, and Finn was actually a good listener.

“Can I at least activate the red flashing lights?”

“No! Finn! Please! Just zip it and let me think!”

Even if he were able to escape from the cosmic drain, the babies were waiting, and the last time he’d checked his torpedoes were offline. They’d be sitting flounder.

“You do know the torpedoes are still offline, right?” Finn whispered. Captain Cod glared at the bubble that housed Finn’s camera and glared at him in a way only a fish can glare. Finn got the point and zipped it.

Captain Cod unbuckled the straps that held him in place and quickly swam back to the navigational screen. He quickly keyed in a few different equations, but they all returned a big red X on the screen.

“Blast!” he exclaimed. “Nothing works. Finn, what is the status on the Whirlpool Drive?”

“The Whirlpool Drive? Why?” the computer asked, concerned.

“Just answer the blasted question!” Captain Cod shouted, slamming his fin on the console.

“The Whirlpool Drive is online but activating it in a cosmic drain would not be recommended,” Finn replied, emphasizing the not be recommended part. “You’ll likely end up as fish paste, spread all over the cosmic drain. And there won’t be enough left of me to play a game of cherubfish checkers.”

“Never tell me the odds,” Captain Cod snapped.

“Um… I didn’t,” Finn replied. “I’m just saying…”

“I know what you’re saying!” Captain Cod said, swimming over to the controls for the Whirlpool Drive. “And we are out of time and options. When I tell you, activate the swisher and set coordinates for H2O.3928.”

Captain Cod grasped the Whirlpool Drive control with his fin and started counting down, “Five, four, three…”, when the alarm started blaring again, this time with the flashing red lights.

“What the fish, Finn!” Captain Cod exclaimed. “I told you to turn it off!”

“It wasn’t me, Captain,” Finn whined. “It’s the proximity alarm! Another ship has entered the drain near us!”

“Is it the babies?” Captain Cod asked, alarmed, looking out the porthole but seeing nothing but the squeezing of reality down into the drain. Certainly, the babies wouldn’t risk being pulverized just to get their hands on the few clams he had in storage.

“I don’t think so,” Finn answered. “But it’s hard to tell with all the reality squeezing going on out there. My sensors are useless.”

The sound of metal scraping the outside of the ship shut up both captain and computer. Captain Cod followed the sound of the scraping as it went from port to bow and when it finally made a “chunk” sound just to his right, where the mast would be, he realized what he was hearing.

“A harpoon?” Captain Cod asked. His question was answered by his ship jostling and knocking even more than before, as if they were being yanked up on the end of a fishing line.

“It seems like someone is pulling us out of the drain,” Finn said, guarded excitement evident in its voice.

“Yeah, but are they friend or shark?” Captain Cod asked. “Either way, we need to be ready. Do we at least have the fishhook?”

“Aye, Captain,” Finn answered. “But I don’t know the last time it was used. Before my time.”

“Any shell in a storm,” Captain Cook answered. “Get it ready.”

Artificial gravity immersed in water was a challenge in the best of times, but when being pulled out of a singularity, it was an extremely stinky feeling. But Captain Cod held on to the straps floating close by and rode it out.

“We’re clearing the threshold of the drain,” Finn said. “I think we’re going to make it.”

“Yeah, but make it into whose clutches?” Captain Cod asked, more to himself than the artificial intelligence that he spent the majority of his time with.

But still, it was a relief to know that time had been bought. And so he steeled himself for what might come next.

Pulling out of a cosmic drain takes time, and so Captain Cod eventually got tired of steeling himself, and instead swam laps around the bridge, hoping to keep sharp when he learned who’d pulled them out of their deep problem.

Eventually, swimming laps grew boring, and so he focused on a game on the computer where a smaller fish ate bigger fish until the smaller fish became a bigger fish.

Then, he napped.

*** This is as far as I got. My 9 year old liked it, so I’ll come back to it later and try to wrap up the story. Warning, my 9 year old wants there to be a twist at the end. So…


The Investigator • A Short Story

Instead of writing a novel over the month of the National Novel Writing Month, I’ve decided to write the first draft of a short story a day. Using a random genre generator and a list of words for the month, I’ll get a bit to go on, otherwise I’ll write the story that wants to be told. Enjoy!

November 1

The Women of Amphissa, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1817, via The Clark Art Institute; with The Priestess of Bacchus, by John Collier, 19th century •


Word: “Leaves”
Genre: Mythology Whodunit
Setting: Ancient Greece

The river sang its song, bubbling from place to place, oblivious to the lives of mortal men and women, oblivious to death and life, oblivious to desires and wants and needs and obsessions. Oblivious to life. Oblivious to death.

Oblivious to blood and wine.

Blood and wine. Spilled on the ground, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. And much had been spilled of both.

Astraea stood unmoving on the one spot on the riverbank that didn’t have splots and splashes of deep crimson covering it. She stared at the gruesome scene, at the spilt blood and wine, and the cups and the broken bottles and torn cloth and the torn flesh. More torn flesh than should have been possible to come from one person.

“Not since Procustes’ bed,” she muttered.

She glanced over at the crowd of women sitting in the tall grass, watched over by the four satyrs who assisted her in her investigations. Well, at least some of the women were sitting. Others were unconscious in various undignified poses, including one red-haired half-clothed girl of twenty-something who had passed out on her stomach with her rear end sticking up in the air.

“They’re in rough shape,” Deacon, her second, said as he stepped up beside her, gingerly navigating his goat feet around the gore and debris.

“You order the wine you have to pay the bill,” Astreaa replied. “Did you get anything useful?”

“The victim was allegedly sitting on the rock that they traditionally use for the festival, playing what they called “depressing songs”, and he refused to leave. There was an argument, but after a while they gave up and walked away. They heard screams and when they came back, he was…” he gestured at the scene in front of him.

“Where they from?” Astraea asked.

“Thrace,” he answered, snorting. “Said they are Maenads of Dionysus. Tried to use it to get immunity.”

“Your thoughts?” Astraea asked.

Deacon stomped at a spot of dirt as he considered the question, the question she often asked of those who worked with her. Astraea had been doing this for many years, but appreciated an alternate point of view.

“I think they’re lying,” he said. “I think the argument didn’t end peacefully, and they killed him because they thought they could get away with it.”


“They’re covered in blood, for one,” he replied. “The immunity thing, number two. And you’ve seen how the festivals get out of control. It’s amazing something like this hasn’t happened before.” 

Astraea nodded. His arguments made sense, but still… she needed to move. She always thought better moving than standing still, so she stepped over to the edge of the woods, doing her best to not step on the wet evidence, quietly humming a favorite tune, a song that she’d first heard years ago.

She stopped at the base of a huge oak tree and glanced up into the dark green. The leaves rustled as though a breeze was blowing through, although there was no breeze. A single broad leaf floated down. Curious, Astraea bent down to pick up the leaf and gazed at it, admiring the leaf’s veins and variety of colors.

Sort of like a person. Such variety within the one.

Just below her, in the mud, she noticed what appeared to be part of the victim’s arm partly submerged. She pulled it out using the leaf as a glove.

The ragged skin hung from the bone in an uneven way that implied tearing. Mauling. Something she doubted the women could have done, even if they’d had blades, which they’d been checked for. “Have you ever seen anything like this?” she asked.

Deacon stepped over, looked closely at the arm, and shrugged. “Too much wine can make people act uncharacteristically savage.”

“I’ve never even seen a lion do something like this,” she said, “let alone a group of drunk women.”

“Centaur?” Deacon replied calmly, exploring all options. If the sight of a torn arm bothered him, the satyr didn’t show it. But he’d seen worse, Astraea knew.

They both had.

The bed. The cut limbs, the screams of terror, the smells of days old rotting flesh, it all started to bubble back up to the surface, but she pushed it back down and turned to examine the muddy riverbank.

Stay in the present, she reminded herself.  

“Only human footprints,” she replied. “And I’m not sure how a cyclops could have gotten in and out of the area without anyone noticing.”

She handed him the arm and looked out over the river. The Evros, just steps away, gurgled and flowed, unaware or unconcerned with the affairs of mortal men and women. The reality of this was not lost on Astraea, and sometimes that reality made what the gods had called her to do seem meaningless.

But a calling imbues meaninglessness with meaning, she supposed. Just as a perfect song can imbue meaning to a life of struggle, so can the call of the gods. Sometimes, a perfect song can communicate that meaning so well…

“You need to let us go! We didn’t do anything!”

The woman’s voice broke Astraea’s reverie. She turned to see a young brunette struggling against Basil, one of her satyr investigators. The satyr was showing representative restraint, keeping the woman from leaving, but not violently.

“Basil,” she called. “Let her approach.”

The satyr stepped aside, and the young woman straightened her gown, took a breath, and stepped forward.

“Are you in charge?” she demanded.

“I am the lead investigator,” Astraea replied, pressing calm into her voice with the hopes that it would infect the other woman.

“We are Maenads of Dionysus,” the brunette said proudly. “And we didn’t do anything wrong. I demand that you release us.”

“While I appreciate your service,” Astraea said, “there has been a murder, and my job is to investigate that murder. You and your sisters were at the scene of the crime, and so you will remain here until I release you.”

“Until you release…” the brunette sputtered. “I said that we are Maenads of Dionysus. Do you have any idea how difficult we could make your life? Do you have any idea who we work for?”

Astraea laughed, feeling genuine amusement for the first time since she’d been informed of this tragic situation. She loved it when people played the “do you know who I work for” card.

“I do,” she said. “And do you notice that my associates are satyrs?”

The brunette glanced around, for the first time realizing that this was the case.

“And who do satyrs work for?” Astraea asked, not attempting to mask the sarcasm.

“Dionysus…” the brunette muttered.

“I would suggest that you join your sisters and wait for us to do our job,” Astraea said, and she turned her back. She didn’t need to see the brunette shuffle back over and sit down, she just hoped she’d take the time to push the redhead over so her ass wasn’t in the air any longer.

“Sorry about that, chief,” Deacon said.

“It’s nothing,” Astraea said. “Tell me about the victim.”

Deacon looked uncomfortable, which Astraea found disconcerting. Nothing made the satyr uncomfortable. She pressed him.

“Let’s hear it, Deacon,” Astraea said.

“It was Orpheus,” the satyr said. “We found what remained of his lyre.”

Deacon held out the gold fretboard of a lyre, and Astraea felt the earth drop from underneath her. She felt the sky press in. She heard the sound of the river now deafening, and the leaves dropping from the tree were like explosions. Everything was wrong, and all she could do was nod and turn back to the river.

“You okay, boss?” he asked.

“I just need a minute,” she muttered, turning back to the river, praying silently that her loyal second would pick up the hint and shut up. Thankfully, he did.

The water. It just flows, she thought. On and on, starting somewhere, ending up somewhere, but always the same when you stand and look at it. Centuries after she was gone, the water would still be there. Centuries after everything she knew and loved and cared about and thought about and dreamed about was gone, the water would still be there. The water wouldn’t remember any of them.

The water wouldn’t remember Orpheus.

Of all the scoundrels and murderers and liars and thieves and embezzlers and heretics, a sensitive musician had been ripped to shreds by a group of drunk whores? Of all the bloody cases in all the dark alleys and dim caves and fetid brothels she’d investigated…

Why did it have to be Orpheus?

She’d first heard him at the festival of Zeus in Athens a few years ago, before he’d met the tree nymph and become obsessed. His music had been so pure, so enchanting. Then, when she’d been called in to investigate the nymph’s death, she’d spent time him. He sang for her, even in his grief.

Now his music was gone, forever.

Yet the river continued.

And the whores were responsible.

All thoughts of mystery and torn flesh and the ability of people to inflict damage were gone. All thoughts of professionalism and justice and investigative integrity flowed away like a leaf on the river. All Astraea knew was that Orpheus was dead, that music was dead, that meaning was…

“Deacon,” she said, staring at the river. “Take the Maenads of Dionysus in. Charge them with murder.”

“Yes ma’am,” her second said.

And so Astraea watched the river, oblivious to the cries of the women behind her. Oblivious to the sound of the leaves rustling in the big oak tree, a sound that – had she been listening – might have sound like approval – like revenge achieved.

And the river sang its song, bubbling from place to place, oblivious to the lives of mortal men and women, oblivious to death and life, oblivious to desires and wants and needs and obsessions. Oblivious to life. Oblivious to death.


A New Blog For A New Year

I invite readers of the Thimblerig’s Ark blog to check out my new blog, 365 Days of 30 Day Challenges, in which I will write about my attempts to do several new 30 day challenges each month during 2022.

It might interesting to you if you’re looking to give yourself a challenge during an upcoming month, or if you just want to see if I’ll implode trying multiple challenges.

Either way, come visit my new blog! I’d love to see you there.

And for those who would care, I will continue to use this blog to write about non-challenge related things, as the mood strikes me.



Trump and Prophesy

Church talk alert.


Prophecy. And yes, I know.

In some circles of the Christian faith, the idea of prophecy has been an important part of the political scene. Going back to Mark Taylor’s “Trump Prophecy”, where Taylor was famously “told by God” that Trump would be president to Pat Robertson recently saying that God had told him that Trump would be re-elected, the idea of Trump-positive prophecy has played a significant role in this campaign, at least where a certain subset of Christians are concerned.

If you aren’t familiar with the wing of Christianity that buys into the idea of prophecy as a very real part of life and politics, it might surprise you to know that there have been many, many people prophesying (i.e., speaking for God) a Trump second term

Thinking about this has led to a pretty serious bought of reflection on my part. Reflection on how so many in the church often conflate their desires with their understanding of God’s desires, which is interesting from a Christian standpoint, because God’s desires are laid out pretty clearly in Scripture.

One of God’s desires in Scripture is that His children submit. “Not my will, but yours be done,” right? It’s not like Jesus prophesied that angels would take him down from the cross, and then had to tap dance excuses when they didn’t. He submitted to God’s will. Full stop.

So, what can we take away from the way so many in the church married the idea of Trump to the point that they would be willing to publicly conflate their desires with God’s desires?

I’ve got a few ideas.

1) If a person has a vested interest in the outcome of their prophecy, it is suspect. In this case, every prophesy I heard was given by die-hard Trump supporters who weren’t prophesying from a vacuum. They’d tasted power with their guy in the White House, and they’d liked it.

Their prophesies were moot.

2) If a “prophet” is not speaking truth to power, then their prophesy is suspect. Biblical prophets didn’t cozy up to the power structures, but confronted them with hopes that those in power would change their course.If any president desperately needed this, it was Trump.

The fact that they wouldn’t tell him what he really needed to hear rendered their prophesies moot.

3) If a “prophet” has money to gain from their prophesies, then their prophesy is suspect. Like this… the “prophet” does their thing, it goes online, gets shared all over, adds value to their brand, donations go up, books get sold, folks get booked on Jim Bakker’s show or the like.They’re getting wealthy off their prophesies? Their prophesies are suspect. These people know their audiences, and play to their audiences, and profit from their audiences.

Suspect. Moot.

4) If the prophesies tickled the listener’s ears, they were suspect. See #3. It always seems to be about money, inn’t it? Moot.

There are other things to be learned from these past four years, books upon books will be written, I’m sure. For the Church, we need to use this time to take some serious looks in the mirror. If he gave us anything, 45 gave us the valuable gift of the ability to see ourselves clearly. I hope that the white evangelical Christian church will take the opportunity to do spend some serious time in front of the mirror.

What we see may not be appealing, but recognizing the reflection might be the start of making things right.

A Problem with the Hero’s Journey

I’ve taught the Hero’s Journey for years.

I learned the Hero’s Journey in a screenwriting course back in 2007, and it’s been my main focus in my own writing classes ever since, because it seemed so logical. It’s the monomyth, after all. It’s Joseph Campbell, after all. It just made sense.

We saw it in Star Wars, didn’t we? And thanks to The Memo from Christopher Vogler, we’ve seen it in just about every Hollywood movie since the mid-80’s.

The Hero’s Journey is our journey.

But is it?

The truth of the matter is that in promoting the Hero’s Journey, we’ve created a monster.

2020 has revealed the Hero’s Journey to be a pandora’s box of problems when the shit really hits the fan. Because you see, the problem with the Hero’s Journey.. for most of us… is that we are usually not the hero.

The Hero’s Journey teaches us that we are all the hero of our own story, that we are the ones experiencing the inciting incident, refusing the call, crossing the threshold, fighting the threshold guardians, entering the dark night of the soul, finding the strength to overcome and ultimately overwhelm our adversaries, and returning home, older and wiser.

Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Katniss Aberdeen… all heroes. All us. Right?

But the problem is that most of us aren’t the hero. Most of us are the ones on the sidelines, dealing with the decisions of the hero. Most of us are the plebes. Sometimes we’re even the threshold guardians working against the hero.

But we all think we’re the hero.

And the Hero’s Journey doesn’t have a place for the plebes and bad guys who think they’re the hero. It’s only concerned with the hero.

So, the Hero’s Journey is problematic, because for most us, the heroic story isn’t our story. We’d like to think that it is, but for most of us, our story is just getting through the day. Our story is dealing with what the hero does. Our story is survival.

And we’ve really seen this during 2020, haven’t we? Acts of heroism in 2020 are staying home. Wearing a mask. Putting others before ourselves. Not Hero’s Journeying. Not going out and fight dragons and defeating The Empire and putting Lord Voldemort in his place.

That’s where we’ve been deceived with the Hero’s Journey. It’s not nearly as sexy and self-absorbed and hero-centric as we’ve been led to believe it to be.

The real and true hero’s journey is not about us and our journey. It’s about the other…. putting the needs of others before ourselves. It’s about realizing that we are nothing but bit players in a larger production, and our being okay with our just doing our part.

Sure, there are heroes among us. And God bless them. But for most of us, we are not those heroes. We are just players acting out our parts. We are often the plebes. We are often the antagonists.

We need to recognize the truth in this.

And so, as I think about what I will teach my writing students in the future, I realize that I need to retool what I teach about the Hero’s Journey, about the monomyth. Yes, it needs to be acknowledged as a method of storytelling, but does it need to be applied to our lives like some sort of universal truth?

I don’t think so.

Because we are often not the hero.

Life in China is seldom boring.

Life in China is seldom boring.

Around 9:30 AM this morning, we had a cake delivered to our flat. We didn’t order it, there was no note.

An hour later, we had three cups of honey bubble tea delivered to our house. We didn’t order it, there was no note. But there was a phone number that ended in 9193. We had no idea who 9193 was, but I did wonder, as a typical American, if someone was trying to poison us.

An hour later, we had a personal sized durian pizza and a bag of four chicken nuggets delivered to our house. Same deal. Same number. Same concerns.

This isn’t so unusual for us, believe it or not. Last week, the guards at our flat said that someone tried to deliver a cake and coffee to us. A month ago, someone delivered several sauces to us. A couple of months ago, someone delivered a bag of stationary to us. The only hint of who was behind this was a note that this was all for an American family (we’re the only one in our complex), and it was sent by someone named Crystal.

Of course, I was immediately suspicious about all of it. Is this stuff poisoned? Is someone setting us up for a scam? What’s really going on? Being an American can really be tedious.

Turns out our anonymous benefactor didn’t do a great job covering her tracks, and left her WeChat info with the guards. We were able to contact her today, and it turns out that K had helped promote her business a while back on Chinese social media, and she just wanted to say thank you.

And so, notebooks and sauces and cake and coffee and juice and honey tea and pizza stretched out over months. Just to say thank you for something we didn’t even realize we had done.

I still don’t who this woman is, but for some reason, she knows who we are, and she is grateful to us.

Life in China is seldom boring.

How we treat strangers…

Noah, my seven year old, and I were on our way to Walmart today when we happened upon a science fair in the mall next to Walmart.

Yes, our daily life in China involve visits to Walmart. More than I wish it would, but when it’s a ten minute walk from your apartment, it’s hard to not go.

The science fair was fun for Noah. There was a real tarantula in a cage, one of those Frankenstein globes, and a live display of the effects of dry ice.

Noah was entranced by the science. I was entranced by the hospitality.

See, there were about a dozen Chinese kids sitting and watching the display, but the host focused in on Noah, the one foreign kid. The host asked Noah to come forward first, to help him with an experiment. Why? Because he was the one foreign kid. All the other kids were dying to participate, but the host chose Noah. The host did his best to include Noah in everything he did.

This is the way we’ve been treated nearly every moment we’ve been in China for the past seven years. We’re foreigners, and we are constantly given special treatment. We’re put at the front of the line, shown extra hospitality, granted special privileges.

This is my experience in China. Regardless of what you are hearing in the news about China, understand that this has been our experience. Consistently.

We have always been treated well.

And when I turn my attention back home, it’s shown me that America has a lot to learn about how to consider people who are different than we are. The foreigners. The strangers. The different. We have a whole lot to learn.

It’s interesting what you can learn on a trip to Walmart.


We all want things to be normal again, don’t we?

Can you believe that ‘normal’ was just six months ago? Less if you aren’t in Asia.

Six months. Not so long ago.

What, exactly, did we like so much about normal that we want it back again? Was it the predictability? After all, before, we knew what would happen tomorrow because it had happened yesterday. There was comfort in that.

Normal was predictable and comfortable.

On paper.

For most of us.

In reality, for many of us, normal wasn’t so predictable. Normal, back then, still had cancer. Normal, back then, still had divorce. Normal, back then, still had accidents. Normal still had tragedy. Back then, normal wasn’t normal for many of us.

Pre-Covid normal still took many of us by surprise.

But still, compared to what we are experiencing now, pre-Covid normal was heaven on earth. Right? Pre-Covid normal was something that we should be longing for, right?

Except maybe it wasn’t. Pre-covid normal took me and my two oldest children on a flight from China to America to watch my mother die. A mother who shouldn’t have died. A mother who was perfectly healthy until just a couple of months before. Pre-covid normal let me and my two oldest children watch my mother die in a hospital with my brothers and my sister. My family.

Pre-Covid normal could be brutal.

Pre-Covid normal could be a bitch.

Pre-Covid saw many of us lose our parents and our children and our friends and our loved ones to all kinds of heartbreak.

Pre-covid normal was not necessarily such a great place.

And yet, we all want things to be normal again. We all want Covid to be behind us. But maybe this is the wrong thing for us to want.

Covid has something to teach us, if we are open to learning. After all, Covid has forced us to slow down, to consider others before ourselves, to reprioritize.

Covid has forced us to reconsider what should be normal in our lives.

Covid has forced us to reconsider.


I don’t have an answer for this question. I don’t know what normal should be for me these days, let alone what normal should be for you. I just know that opportunities like this don’t come around often, and I don’t want to waste it.

Personally, I don’t want things to return to normal.

I want things to be better for all of us.

Now we just need to figure out how what that means.

Our new normal needs to be better. It just needs to be.

A love that transcends all of this

Jesus told us to love our neighbor.

He said this, and then he went on to tell a story about how important it is that we love our enemies.

This covers the gamut. If we follow Jesus, we need to love our neighbors and we need to love our enemies.

It couldn’t be more clear.

This is from Jesus. Not me.

And the love of Jesus is not passive. It’s active. It’s not a hippy dippy “all we need is love” mentality… it’s a get-down-in-the-dirt with people who are hurting and love them mentality. This is the love of Jesus.

The love of Jesus is the kind of love that would find a wounded man on the road and not pass him by. It’s the kind of love that would find a wounded man on the road not pass him by and bind his wounds. It’s the kind of love that would find a wounded man on the road and not pass him by and bind his wounds and take him to a place where he would be cared for, and pay to make sure he was cared for.

It’s the kind of love that would do all of this for a wounded man who is the enemy.

This is Jesus’ love… it is a sacrificial love.

My reading of Scripture tells me that Jesus doesn’t care jack-squat about our politics. Jesus doesn’t care jack-squat about our notions of freedom or liberty. Jesus doesn’t care about our comfort.

My reading of scripture tells me that Jesus cares about the way we treat our neighbors. He cares about the way we treat our enemies. He cares about the way we treat our community.

That’s what my reading of scripture tells me. That’s what my reading of scripture tells me about who Jesus is.

And it transcends all of this.

Anti-maskers… I just don’t get it.

I had an interesting conversation with one of my Chinese coworkers today. We were shooting the breeze about summer school, when I remembered that there was something I had wondered about for some time.

I asked her about the Chinese response to mask wearing. Since January, did anyone ever oppose it? Was anyone ever against it?

It was like I’d asked her if people in China breathe air. Why would they oppose something that benefits everyone?

I told her that some people in America continue to refuse to wear the mask, even when the virus is not nearly under control.

Again, it was like I told her that some people in America refuse to breathe air. It didn’t make sense to her.

And it doesn’t make sense to me.

I can understand that someone could’ve felt this way in the beginning. After all, masks aren’t unusual in Asia, but they are in America. We haven’t had to wear masks before, and they are not comfortable. I can get people not wanting to wear them.

In the beginning.

But now? When the science has shown that wearing a mask helps fight the virus… why wouldn’t people wear them now?

This is my question. If you are a person who continues to refuse to wear a mask… why? What is your reasoning? I’m not asking this to start a fight, I’m truly trying to understand your point of view. What scientific evidence to you bring to your position? And if you are a Christian, how do you respond to the argument that wearing a mask demonstrates love to your neighbor?

Seriously. I don’t want a fight. I want to understand.

Because right now I don’t.