I’m sure glad I don’t have a fish on my car

September 13, 2010 | My Jottings

Well, well, well.

Isn’t it interesting that after a wonderful four days away with friends and family, at a beautiful and peaceful resort on a clear and sandy lake, that something would happen to remind me that human nature is still corrupt and sinful, and in dire need of rescue. To clarify, that would be my human nature I’m talking about today.

I will write later (and post photos) about our fantastic getaway into Paul Bunyan country, and the lavish gift it was to me. I had my family around me, there was laughter and games and kayaking, there were children’s giggles and s’mores and a night sky so clear we could see the milkiness of the Milky Way. There was sleeping in until 7:30 a.m. There was good food and memorable sharing, and I was happy and grateful.

Then today when we returned to real life, which is also a very blessed and wonderful real life, I was glad I didn’t have a fish on my car.

You know the little chrome-like emblems that some Christians put on their cars to quietly say to those who would understand: “I believe. I am a follower of Jesus.”

Like this one. I used to have one of these on our vehicle. I am not ashamed of identifying myself as one who has given my life to Jesus Christ. But I am chagrined at how I sometimes represent Him. Oh, to be that serene, optimistic, loving woman of fervent, effective prayer and unwavering faith! Ha.

Yes, today I am saying ha. It’s not a sarcastic ha. It’s a don’t-forget-what-can-happen-when-the-dragon-of-selfishness-rears-her-ugly-head kind of ha.

After we returned from our fall vacation, Michael and I had to pick up prescriptions for several folks, replenish our groceries, and pick our dogs up from the dog hotel. I sat in the car while he went into the drug store to get the meds. “Be sure to get all four — Smith, Jones, McGillicutty and Johnson,” I reminded him as he walked into the busy place we frequent at least once a week.

As if he didn’t know the names. Of course he knows the names. I knew there was really no need to tell him the four last names of the people we were picking up prescriptions for, but since Parkinson’s hasn’t been very kind to Michael, sometimes reminders or reiteration is helpful to him. I sat waiting for him and people-watched. I had the windows down in the car and said a thank you for the invigorating fall weather we’re having — a brilliant blue sky, crisp air, light breezes, golden sunshine. And we are blessed enough (although I have no idea why) to be able to take a little trip with our family and friends!

After a much longer wait than would usually be expected, I saw Michael come out of the building and walk toward the car. With only one bag in his hand. A bag not large enough for four people’s prescriptions. When he got in the car I asked him where the other three bags were and he wasn’t really able to tell me. Parkinson’s sometimes causes speech difficulties. He did answer me, but I wasn’t able to glean from him why he only had McGillicutty’s meds and he didn’t get anything for Smith, Jones and Johnson. I knew the meds were ready; we had gotten confirming e-mails and recorded telephone messages from the pharmacy. I looked through the bag and again asked him why he didn’t get Smith’s, Jones’s and Johnson’s prescriptions when he knew we needed them all, and minutes before I had reminded him that we needed them all. He said something about the meds not being ready and that the gal behind the counter was new.


By this time I was getting frustrated. We needed meds for Smith, Jones, McGillicutty and Johnson and all we had was McGillicutty’s. So I sighed loudly to make sure Michael knew I was tired and so put out. I knew what had probably happened — he hadn’t been able to make himself understood to the clerk. I asked if he thought that’s what happened and he wasn’t sure. Then I said a couple of things that I wish I had not said. And I said them loudly enough so that the older man sitting in the car next to ours with his window open, could certainly hear. Then I got out of the car, walked quickly into the drug store, obtained the prescriptions for Smith, Jones and Johnson with no trouble at all, and returned to the car. The man in the car next to us was still sitting there. He probably watched me go into the drug store and come out still miffed, and felt sorry for Michael.

As we drove away, both of us not saying much, I was glad I didn’t have a fish on my car. Not because I’m ashamed of letting others know I’m a Christian. No! Never!

But because I’m ashamed that when people all around me need a clearer picture of Jesus, sometimes all they get is me.


  1. Dorothy Sooter says:

    Julie, please remember that you are human. No one knows better than I that we blow it. We want to be like Jesus but we fail and fall short. Most importantly, He still loves us and forgives us. Fix Michael a very special dinner that he likes and tell him how sorry you are. Michael loves you so much and he will feel your pain and your love. Just know I feel your pain and understand. Love you, Dorothy

  2. Kay says:

    Remember…this day too, is nailed to that cross.
    God’s Amazing Grace my friend. ((hug))

  3. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Dorothy and Kay….you are dears to encourage me. 🙂

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