Picking Out a Cross Necklace for Bill Maher

Traveler’s Tip #337
They say you can never go home. That’s not true—but sometimes it’s a really long drive.
It’s a beautiful morning in Oroville, California. I have a feeling that happens a lot here. The people at the Super 8 are very nice. I’ve blown through four states in the last five days, passing the miles talking to Jesus and listening to Willie Nelson read Louis L’Amour stories—both are good for the soul. Late check-out this morning then headed for a Lodi concert tonight.
Last night I stood on the stage of a little brick church. I felt a lot of history in that place. What sermons and songs bounced off those walls in days long past? Voiced by men and women whose names no one remembers? I added my own to the mix. I hope they hang around awhile.
Out here in America time marches on, waiting for no one and no respecter of persons. Towns are boarded. Old Victorian houses are falling apart. One Main Street fades into another, nothing but the obligatory struggling antique store and memories. The Victorians give way to trailers and blocked-up cars. There are still good people out here, but they’re fading into transparency, becoming opaque while small men at the Capitol spend their days shooting cap pistols across the aisle and their evenings sharing drinks.
They say the days of the pioneers were hell on horses and women. I don’t think that’s true anymore—Hillary is doing fine as first world morphs slowly into third.
On the hotel room TV Bill Maher makes his guest hide her cross under her blouse because it offends him. The audience claps. At the same time, on the other side of the world, a Christian missionary feeds a hungry little girl—Bill’s not even a blip on her radar screen.
Out past the trailers, a faded farmhouse leans hard in the middle of a field, ravaged by weather and broken hearts.
America. Man—this place is haunted.
There are ghosts here. Ghosts of the strong and the good and the moral. The builders and the dreamers. The fighters and the forgotten that gave their lives so the politicians could play, a woman could wear a cross, and Bill Maher could whine. Yes, America is becoming a land of ghosts and sadly they have heavier footsteps than the living.
But me and Jesus and Willie? We’ll keep our chins up and speak our mind. We’re headed for another town. We’ll share a little truth (of course there’s such a thing, Bill). We’ll celebrate an empty grave and love people because people are lovely. For the most part we’ll be loved back.
Oh, and we’ll wear our crosses outside our shirts… for all the honest world to feel.
So watch for us pilgrims, we’re coming to your town. And we bring good news. As dark as it seems, the devil’s lies are rapidly wearing thin and it’s getting grey in the east. The sun is on its way and the forecast is good.
Adios, Bill Maher. Go with God, my friend. You don’t worry Him. He cares for you dearly. Might as well drop your fists, it’s a losing fight. All the hate in the world isn’t even a drop against the ocean of God’s love. Hey, who knows? Maybe He’ll send you a cross necklace for Christmas.
Fair winds,