Friday, October 29, 2010


A designer friend and I were talking about her latest rash of clients. She says they are singularly difficult to deal with and she wasn't sure why. In some cases, they had been badly burned by previous contractors (losing $140K which goes to show you how much money these people are pouring into their homes, but I digress). In other cases, they were bitten by the DIY bug -- even cardiologists with insanely busy practices thought they could take on the role of contractor to save some money. That's like a contractor saying he's going to operate on himself when he develops heart disease. The other reason is that this is a narcissistic culture, and one of the defining symptoms of narcissism is to think the latest thing is the greatest. (Look at the love affair with Obama, and how they're slamming the poor guy now in spite of some very real and positive moves; look at the landslide with Ford, and one can only hope Toronto will wake up without a hangover on that decision... but I digress again). So back to the clients -- they fall madly in love with this designer or that, they must have that new kitchen no matter what, it's the only thing that will make them happy (narcissists also seem to be addicted to the new thing to relieve their deep seated unhappiness). But when the new begins to demonstrate it or they have feet of clay, they quickly get dashed to the ground, demonized for having failed the unrealistically high expectations.

When one part of any relationship -- between client and contractor, people and president, man and woman -- has these narcissistic expectations that the other will solve ALL their problems, it's doomed. In the case of the cardiologist cum contractor, my friend decided to walk away. Trust your gut, walk away.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Body of Christ, newly defined

A friend of mine at church has been suffering from kidney problems for many years -- she has been on dialysis for the past two years, a machine in her home which she has to hook up to every second day. She is courageous and has dignity, but even she was wearing thin from this. Last year she had to have one kidney removed. Because of her age, she would have waited ten years for a transplant tobecome available. Her husband wasn't a good match because he has lupus.

Her situation became somewhat known to our parish family.

A few months ago, I found out that Martin G, our quiet unassuming single library guy had volunteered one of his kidneys. When the social worker was doing his psych screening, she asked him whether he thought this would score brownie points with God. He told her that God already loved him, he didn't need to do something further to gain that reward.

Last Thursday they had the operations, and it was deemed a success on all fronts. Of course, there needs to e more time to determine how she will adapt to his kidney. Someone said, her blood, flowing through M's kidney, will give her clear urine and a new life.

It is a new, and really concrete, way of looking at the Body of Christ.