I’m almost positive that five years ago God decided to take on flesh again, this time in the body of a kid named Logan. While I’ve been working to save a house from the grave, Logan’s father, a professional house painter, has been giving attention to a two-story structure next door. His son Logan hangs around.
When I told Logan my name, he said: “Man, your name’s a swear word!” Logan’s dad set his boy straight. “His name’s not Damn, it’s Dan. D-A-N.”
A while later, while I was repairing 120-year-old wood siding, Logan announced to me: “You an old man!” Willing to take the bait, I said, “I know I’m old, but how do you know that?” Quite matter-of-factly, he pointed at me. “You got a spot on your head.” I leaned down so we were eye to eye. “Show me.” With his finger he touched the top of my skull. “You ain’t got no hair up there. You old.” See, this kid knows everything, just like God.
The thought crossed my mind, “Hey, Logan, you wanna play with my power tools?” But instead I said, “Hey Logan, why don’t you put on these gloves and here’s an extra hammer and a scraper and a tape measure.” For the next couple hours, he measured everything he saw and scraped every board he could reach.
When it was time to leave with his dad, I said: “Keep the tape measure, it’s brand new and you’re the only one who’s ever used it.” His eyes got as big as dinner plates. “Thanks, Dan!” It crossed my mind: Not bad for an old man.
Logan’s dad is as attentive as they come. The bond between the two is obvious. Logan’s mom is in jail, doing time for drugs and child neglect (Logan told me that, and his dad confirmed it). Logan loves his dad and misses his mom. I hope in his young life, he’ll get the best of both of them.
I recall a poster I came across a few summers back when spending a week at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It read: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” I’m pretty sure this kid has a lot to teach me about the earth and life. I just hope my hearing doesn’t fail me.
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