A man came to perform a service at my house this week, and as soon as we got to talking, I knew we were kindred spirits.
I was so swept up in our shared interests, I took him into my office and showed him my library, the desk where I work, telling him how I enjoyed reading and writing, two things he also appreciated.
When we went back into the living room, my dog barked, sparking another discussion on the importance of pets. The man went on to explain how he believed dogs could tell good from bad. How they were like litmus tests when it came to people.
Maybe I said what I said next because I was lonely. It’s tough living in a community where your views are different from those of the majority. Or maybe I thought I was being clever. Whatever my reasons, I followed his beautiful sentiment about dogs with something like this:
“Did you know, Donald Trump is the first president since William McKinley to not own a dog? What do you think that says about him?”
The man stopped his work, wiped his hands, and informed me, in cordial terms, that he’d read my columns and did not agree with my politics.
From there, our conversation floundered. We’d lost our spark, both of us trying to talk without stepping on the other’s toes.
Let me pause and offer you this bit of advice as you venture into family Christmases and New Year’s parties:
Don’t make the same mistake I did: don’t talk Trump during the Holidays.
Trust me on this one.
I’ve delved into politics with this column, and every so often, I’ll be in Hobby Lobby or Kroger, and someone will recognize me from the paper and say, “Hey, you write that column for The Courier.”
And I’ll say, “That’s me.”
Then, nine times out of ten, I’ll get this: “I really like your work, but I sure don’t agree with your politics.”
It’s funny. I’ve written nearly a full year’s worth of columns, but the political pieces are the ones people remember. And that’s fine. I’m glad they’ve stuck. But what I wish you knew—my loyal and constant reader—is that up until 2016, I didn’t even follow politics.
My dad used to give me heck for it all the time. Told me I should care more. Watch the news. If for nothing else, to get a grip on what was happening in the world.
When Donald Trump was elected, I started paying attention. This man I remembered as a reality TV star—oftentimes appearing on The Howard Stern Show—was now our Commander and Chief. So, yeah, I started to tune in. I started to worry about the future of our country.
And now, here we are, almost two years into his presidency, and the biggest impact he’s made on my life has been creating a divide between me and some of the people I care for most.
Which leads me back to the very interesting serviceman who visited my house. Turns out my issues did not require a complete service and he did not charge me for the visit.
It was late, past six in the evening, and my wife fixed him a to-go plate before he left. I walked him out to his truck, but before he got away, I expressed my regret at having brought up such a polarizing subject, especially given how well our first encounter had gone up until that point.
His response caught me a little off guard. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Do you know the way to eternal salvation?”
I turned away, back to the twinkling Christmas lights, the inflatable Santa Claus rustling a little in the mid-December breeze, and then I said, “You mean Jesus?”
He nodded and said, “That’s right, but I’m guessing you like to think about things. You like to consider all your options?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I do.”
“Thinking is good,” he replied, holding tight to the warm meal my wife had prepared for him, “but don’t let all that thinking blind you from the truth.”
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
Photo: ShutterstockSeriously, trust me on this one…