Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Buffalo Bill In Jacksonville

I suspect that sometimes I do something for a reason other than the reason I think I’m doing it.

Does that make sense?

I mean that I’ll think I’m doing this for a specific reason, then after all is said and done it turns out that I did it for an entirely different reason.

Not that I’m a pawn.

But while I have my reason, God has His.

Case in point:

Friday I went with Ginny to a local hospital. My reason for going was to comfort her in case the doctor gave her bad news. (Dr. Scar said she’s perfectly ok and that if the growth on her neck begins to bother her sometime in the next 40 years, she should come back to have it removed).

Anyhow, this hospital offers a monster huge parking garage with spaces for all but 50 or 60 of the cars trying to park in there.

We circled and circled up and down dark ramps for 15 minutes before we snagged a parking space—nerve wracking!

After the ordeal of parking we needed a smoke.

Jacksonville hospitals, in a move to improve health care, have banned smoking while they have not banned septic Mersa a germ found in local hospitals which eats the raw flesh of patients—But that’s a rant.

Nevertheless, we found an ashtray beside a bench deep in the recesses of the gloomy underground parking tunnel.

We sat.

Ginny smoked her cigarette; I smoked my pipe.

A man approached and sat on a bench opposite to light up his cigarette.

“I hardly ever see anybody smoking a pipe anymore,” he said to me. “Used to be an old man down the street smoked a corncob pipe. Lived to be 90, but he’s dead now. You are the fist pipe smoker I’ve seen since then”.

We talked about corncob pipes for a short while, then the man began to tell me about how he and his 9-year-old son made turkey callers out of corncobs and bits of blackboard slate. He talked about teaching his son to hunt deer, wild turkey and ducks. They live out in the country and build a hunting blind out of old railroad ties.

Ginny realized that we had not locked our car, which was miles away in the depths of the garage. She left me and the stranger talking about pipes and turkey calling.

Before long, the father began to pour out his heart to me about his boy’s life-threatening illness. How he’d taken his son to a charity hospital and been turned away. How he’d taken the boy, the light of his life, to another physician who made arrangements for the kid to be admitted to this world-renowned childrens clinic.

I asked the boy’s name so I could pray for him.

“His name is Cody; I named him after Buffalo Bill. He was a great hunter”.

A cartoon from a 1907 Jacksonville Newspaper

Now, years ago I’d researched a local magazine article (it never got published) about Buffalo Bill, Colonel William Cody. During the early 1900s Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show often wintered here in Jacksonville.

The father in the hospital parking garage had never heard about this.

Yes, the 200 Indians in the show, sharpshooter Annie Oakley, the horses—the whole troop stopped touring and spent the cold months here in sunny Jacksonville. They created quite a stir because Buffalo Bill Cody lived for showmanship. He always had a gimmick to generate free publicity for his show and managed to stay in the spotlight.

For instance, once when business slacked off, Buffalo Bill and his wife filed for divorce. That made newspaper headlines. Mrs. Cody accused the Colonel of adultery—with Queen Victoria!

After that news story played out, Mrs. Cody dropped the divorce suit.

Anyhow, the distressed father in the parking garage seemed touched to realize that he’d met somebody who even knew who William Cody, his boy’s namesake, was. And he seemed startled when the old man smoking a pipe in a dark corner of the basement offered to pray for his son.

My reason for going to the hospital was to hold Ginny’s hand in case she needed me; but she didn’t.

I wonder if God’s reason for my going may have involved Buffalo Bill?

Beside the still waters is not the only place God leads us.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:00 AM


At 9:29 PM, Blogger agoodlistener said...

Mysterious ways and all that. Isn't it fun when things turn out that way? Makes life interesting. btw, glad Ginny is OK.

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Wes said...

Yep, John. I've had numerous times in my life when I get it in my head to go somewhere and it turns out that I am needed at the destination by someone. It reminds me, as my friend Rete used to say, I'm not driving. I'm only along for the ride.


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