Well they called it "Avalanche" in one paper, "Tsunami" in another. "A cultural watershed moment." "A day of reckoning." Some of the words the news used to describe the seasons of relentless accusations of sexual misconduct by powerful men.
A dog and bubbles: ah, there's an amusing combination! I think my wife discovered this when our little Shih tzu dog was just a puppy, a new member of our family, and she was kind of still discovering her world. My wife went out and bought one of those containers of bubbles, you know the one with the little wand.
If you live on the East Coast, there is one word that's pretty sure to get your attention - hurricane. Yep! I'll tell you, Hurricane Hugo was one of those mega storms that really got our attention. You could watch the news for several nights before Hugo arrived. And they would show you this cyclonic circle inching across the weather map toward, well at that point, an uncertain destination. Half a million people were evacuated from Florida to the Carolinas, not knowing where that destructive little circle on the map was going to land. Finally, it became clear that Hugo's 130-mile-an-hour winds were going to slam ashore at Charleston, South Carolina.
One of the milestone days of any kid's life is the day they get their driver's license. It's usually cause for great excitement and celebrating. It's been about a century, I think, since I first got mine. They traded in the horse and buggy. But not long ago, I was a teenager again, celebrating getting my license. No, I hadn't lost it. The law didn't take it away. My license had expired, and the motor vehicle department had mailed my renewal form when my wife and I were on the road during a time of extended ministry.
You know, flying commercial airlines isn't as much fun as it used to be. A lot of people who have to fly seem to agree with that. There are overbooked flights, and there's long lines at security, and canceled flights, and crowded flights, and equipment problems, and all kinds of frustrating delays. If you don't like something about the way the airline is performing, guess who usually gets all the grief? I've seen it happen at the airport over and over again. That poor ticket agent.
Three New York City boys broke into a zoo there, and one of them climbed into the polar bear area to swim in the moat. He was attacked by those bears. He was brutally killed. I was intrigued by an interview with the Park's Commissioner of New York City who said afterwards, "You know, bears are portrayed to children as friendly animals, even as cuddly animals. We've got Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, and Smokey the Bear. But the Park's Commissioner went on to say, "Actually, they're carnivorous killers." He was right. I mean look, the image of bears is cuddly; the reality is deadly. And not just in bear country.
Many of the world's greatest dramas are not on a stage or a screen. They're played out in that quadrennial spectacle we call the Olympics. Maybe you remember the year, many years ago now really, that Britain's representative in the 400-meter race, Derrick Redman, began to falter and went down in the back stretch with a torn right hamstring. As the medical attendants were approaching, Derrick Redman was fighting his way to his feet. Now, he's limping along in anguish. Hopping, desperately trying to finish the race. He knew he wouldn't win; he was just trying to finish.
I suspect that children go to secret seminars on how to manipulate parents. They are so good at it, so early! Especially at bedtime. You notice? The object seems to be to squeeze out a few more minutes before you have to go to sleep, right? Let's see, there's water, and then there's praying. And then, "Let's pray some more." Who can argue with that one? There's a sudden interest in talking about things; they are suddenly communicators. Then, of course, the ever popular "monsters in my closet."
It wasn't the big one, but it was pretty big. It was that 6.6 earthquake that rocked Los Angeles some years ago. It was 4:31 A.M. and the ground began to tremble underneath Southern California again. And those who watched it will not forget the picture of what collapsed; those Northridge Meadows Apartments where 16 people died in those apartments. But in the midst of the Northridge tragedy, you heard the word miracle a lot. Maria Ballesteros was one who survived that apartment collapse and she was rescued. And she claimed she knew why. She said there were 50 pictures hanging on her wall and 49 of them were destroyed. But one was still there when the shaking was all over. Maria said this, "The one of the Lord was the only one left hanging."