Yesterday, I went exploring for a little bit while I was waiting for my hotel room to be ready. I tried to find the Russian part of town, but I didn't write myself very good directions. However, en route, I saw the La Brea Tar Pits so I hopped off the bus to explore. The nice thing about the park is that the admission is free.

They have pulled so much out of those pits, and unlike other fossils, these are the actual tissue. One pit had an observation deck from which you could watch some people pulling stuff out of the tar and cataloging it. I did end up paying $4.50 (the student price) for entry into the museum, but it was worth it. There were all kinds of skeletons from saber tooth cats, giant sloths, mastodons, wolves, and other extinct animals. I was taking photos, but since I forgot the memory card in the computer, I could only take 28, and they are stuck on the camera until I get home where I have the cable. Hopefully the camera makes it. I dropped it today, and it isn't working entirely right.

Despite Prizrak's warning, I bought a homeless guy dinner last night at Denny's. He was glad to have someone to talk to, and air his problems with. He says he wants to change, and not do the things he knows are wrong. I was thinking the whole time that I would really like to pray for him, and just before I was going to ask him, he asked me if I could pray for him. I did. Then he asked me if I could get him some food, so we went to Denny's. Denny's Restaurants in the city are different than other Denny's. They don't have their own building. While we were eating, he said that he felt really comfortable talking to me. He said that he enjoyed talking to strangers because then he didn't have to worry about looking weak, or them using what he told them against him. That's the sad state of relationships for many people besides him I'm sure.

He told me about how his mom used to make hot breakfasts and how she taught him to do the same. When he was just a young boy he surprised his mom by cooking one. He worked in a photo lab just down the street, and after that he served a couple years in the Army. However, he got in trouble with law. He disappointed his wife by getting arrested and spent some time in prison. Now he sells DVDs on the street. He says he has everything from cartoons to porn, and he has "pimped out girls" to make ends meet.

I was having a long day. I got up at 3:00 A.M. and after only a short nap, I was still up. I think he had a longer day. He was falling asleep sitting in the restaurant. When he finally fell into a bit of a heavier sleep at the booth, I paid for dinner and left. It seemed like the right time.

I've been reading Chesterton's Othodoxy. It seems to me that he is keenly aware of the precarious nature of life. Using the story of Robinson Crusoe he writes:

Crusoe is a man on a small rock with a few comforts just snatched from the sea: the best thing in the book is an inventory. Every kitchen tool becomes ideal because Crusoe might have dropped it in the sea. It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the bookcase, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island. But it is a better exercise still to remember how all things have had this hair-breadth escape: everything has been saved from a wreck. Every man has had one horrible adventure: as a hidden untimely birth he had not been, as infants or that never see the light. Men spoke much in my boyhood of restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it is a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.

At the tar pits, they had a plexiglas case with a rod you could pull on which came through a hole in the top of the case. The rod connected to a leg-sized piston sitting in a bucket of tar. Pulling on the rod you could feel how difficult it was to try and escape the pit. People get stuck in pits like this all the time. Not the ones in the park, but the traps of sin which become impossible to escape on our own volition. However, we don't need to wait thousands of years for an archeologist to dig up our remains. Jesus can pull us out before we perish.

6 comments:

zeliphias said...

its good to hear brother, im glad you did that for someone else in need, thikning that could have been me or you or even Jesus. so if that person said nothing let me say it for him, thankyou.
aaron

Prizrak said...

Lance, you are just too nice. People can sense a free meal by just looking at you. :)

Oh... and I didn't warn you to stay away from hobos but from something more "exotic". Any way, it was in bad taste but I just can't help all this "light humor" that comes out of me. :)

I started playing this game called Fable. It's a little single-player action RPG that has a lot of neat ideas in it. Your actions and choices in the game end up determining your appearance and the way people react to you. You even get scarred to reflect how much melee combat you've been it. You can also get different facial/hair styles and tatoos. By the end of the game, you can either end up looking like one of Lucifer's leiutenants (sp?), making people tremble and beg for mercy upon seeing you or you can end up with a glowing halo around your head, being universaly praised and admired. Any way, it's pretty neat.

lance said...

Hey prizrak, I was wondering when you said trannies whether you meant transients or transvestites. I guess you meant the latter:)

My friend rael has been raving about that game Fable. She won the "manly arm pump."

KrystyKay said...

Lance, I am terribly glad to know you... and to know you are enjoying LA. Sunday they were saying there was a terrorist threat to the city and my prayers were with you, as always! Good to know you are still alive and making a difference!

ed said...

Made me smile, Lance. Thank you.

Prizrak said...

Hey Lance, did you get to see Bill Gates or what? I just read on The Register that he was the "opening act" at the PDC and presented Vista and Office 12. I wish I was there with you. It sounds a lot more exciting than that backwoods conference in Kansas City that I went to last year.