by Eric Christopher Jackson
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“Hi, my name is Jim Francis, this is my wife, Sarah. You wanna say “Hi” honey?”
“She’s funny. Anyway, we want to share with you folks a little story. See, we’re new Christians and we want to ask the veterans a question. Did we do the right thing? What would Jesus have done if He were in our position? Well, by the end of this story, you can judge for yourself. What would you have done?”
“Just when you thought you would have a normal stroll to get the Saturday morning paper…you don’t. I have seen some strange events happen in my time. But nothing like this, in my own neighborhood. I walk outside to get the newspaper when I see my new next-door neighbor. I have to ignore him wearing a bathrobe, eating out of a peanut butter jar with a spoon. No matter. I thought I’d be polite by going over to say, “Hi.”
“Hi, good morning. How are you doing?” I said.
“Waiting for that UPS guy! Do you know when He comes? I've been out here an hour already!”
“Well, it is Saturday. What time did you ca…?"
“I really need to mail this out today. I thought they were reliable!”
“On Saturdays, I don’t think they…”
“I’m not giving them all of that shipping, handling, and insurance money when they can’t be on time!”
You know, with that, I sat on my porch. Just curious to see how long he was gonna stand out there. I thought he’d called UPS, beforehand, to schedule a pick-up or something. I could have been wrong. As a UPS truck drove by from dropping off a package down the street, my neighbor became furious as he passed his house by. Yelling after him, the UPS driver stopped a few houses down, backed up and gave the man fair attention. I think Sarah came out then, sensing what was going on, and just sat by me. We had our coffee, our newspaper, and a front row seat.
“Hey, you passed my house.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Hmm, let’s see. You’re not on any of my lists…”
“I need you to deliver this. It has to arrive no later than four o’clock this afternoon sharp. There are very important business papers in here and it has to be there BEFORE the deadline today.”
“Umm. I’m sorry sir, but…we don’t ship same day packages.”
“Especially on Saturdays. I have mostly drop-offs and…”
“Aren't you a postal service?!”
“Isn't it your job to deliver the mail…and do it on time?!”
“Sir, we don’t…”
“NO!! No, no, no! Now you take this envelop and it better get there or I’m gonna report you to your superior!”
“Well, go ahead! I’m outta here!”
As the UPS guy drives off, my new neighbor throws the peanut butter jar at the truck, breaking the mirror on the driver’s side. Yeah, you see something new everyday.
“Look what you did! You broke my mirror!! I’m gonna be late for my next stops!”
“Serves you right, you slacker! I have to do everything myself around here because you’re too lazy to do your job!!”
Next thing I knew, the UPS guy had him on the ground. They were rolling around, struggling with each other. Somebody must have seen a problem arising because a police car came around the corner. The officer got out of the car, shocked by what he saw.
“Okay fellas, break it up! Now what’s goin' on here?!”
“He broke my mirror over a stupid letter!”
“I’m glad you’re here officer! This guy is supposed to deliver the mail and he doesn't wanna do it! I need this envelope delivered by four o’clock today and he won’t take it!”
“But we don't…”
“Ahh, sir, UPS doesn't do same-day delivers, especially on Saturdays,” the police officer replied.
“A lot of help you are! Why don’t you get in your police car and go back to doing nothing?!”
“Now, now sir! You will respect me. The man can’t get it there today so you’ll have to wait!”
“What I’m ‘gonna’ have to do is find a real law enforcer and mail service in this neighborhood ‘cause you both are slackers!”
You know, I've never seen a policeman’s face get so red before. There they were. Three guys arguing about mail in the middle of the road. I was just waiting to see how many charges my neighbor would have against him once everybody settled down. It was kinda funny that the police officer had to hold the man because he started kicking the police cruiser. Then, out of the blue, the front door of the house across the street opened. A lady with a robe on came out witnessing the…disturbance occurring.
“Hey, what’s going on out here?! What are you guys doing?! John? John is that you down there?! John, what are you doing in Vermont, I thought you lived in Michigan?! And where are those documents that you were supposed to send me for today’s meeting?! The deadline to have them ready is at four o’clock today! You are always so late with getting things to me!”
“Joann, what are you yelling at me for?! I moved all the way over here to cut down on the delivery time because you told me it would be better if we lived closer to each other! Here I am, and these guys say they can’t deliver it to you today! Especially on Saturdays…so you can blame th..!!
“Let me see this address…you wanted me…to mail this…across the street?” the UPS guy asked.
“What?! You’re the one who doesn't want to deliver it! Excuses! All excuses!”
“Hey, let me see that…this “is” across the street!” The police officer agreed.
“John…you were gonna mail the documents across the street?! You just couldn't…!!”
“Hey, I got enough to do. Let them do their jobs for a change!”
Well, that was that. I’m usually not in any type of agreement with a three on one fight. But I thought, just let them go.
“Sarah, maybe we should…”
We looked into each other’s eyes and said…
BOOK TITLE: SPEAK
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