Yesterday I was “manning” the lodge. A man came in and propped his personal computer on the counter. “I am having trouble making an internet connection,” he said. Kate had just left and this man may just as well been asking me to heal his kidney infection. The man had more years than I, which makes him pretty old. I said, “You are asking the wrong person. Kate will be back in a little while.”
He told me that he worked for IBM for thirty years in computers. Now I knew I was really the wrong person to ask. I made a phone call to Kate who gave a couple of suggestions that the man tried. Bernie was around so he went to check the router, perhaps to unplug it for a while. I still don’t understand why that works sometimes.
Meanwhile, the man stood at the counter talking with me. I noticed that the background on his screen was a picture of two alligators. I don’t consider alligators to be among the most beautiful of God’s creatures. I asked him about this. He said that he owns a house on an island in South Carolina that has four golf courses on it and there are alligators there. “Would you like to see some other pictures,” he asked. I don’t think I said yes, but he proceeded to bring up pictures that he took of the animal while he was out golfing. I thought to myself that it would be nice if someone would come in for a bag of ice or leeches.
He showed me a picture of his house that was built on stilts. I thought that if the local critters around my yard were ‘gators, I would for certain put my house on stilts. “The island is only six feet above sea level and floods often.” What a place to have a golf course, I thought. The man talked more about alligators, their behavior, what they like to eat, and how, like other animals, they will only attack to protect their babies. I have seen baby alligators. They aren’t cute but you know how it is with mothers and their babies.
Our conversation ended when he decided to go to the community room where the router was. The truth is, I was actually interested in everything this man wanted to tell me about alligators and his house. One of my positive character traits is curiosity. I think what interests me is not the things that people are interested in but why people are interested in such unusual things. It feels a little like a God thing. After all, no matter what I think of alligators, God doesn’t think they are ugly or he would not have created them to look like they do. I’m guessing that for every created thing, there is someone created to care for it. That makes me want to sit up and pay attention. Who or what am I here on this earth to love and care for?