I’d had a long day talking to young ministers and seminarians. So, when I lowered myself into the jacuzzi at the hotel, I wasn’t looking for conversation. I just wanted to let the heat work its magic.
Apparently, though, the gray haired man in an over-sized NASCAR t-shirt misread my closed eyes and generally round-shouldered posture as a signal that I was in the market for a little friendly fellow traveler chinwag.
“Where you from?” he asked.
“I love how you people from Looey-ville say it. Say it again.”
“Looh-a-vul,” I said, playing along.
“That’s it! I love that! What brings you out to California?”
“I was giving a talk to some young ministers and seminarians at Claremont.”
He gave me a knowing look. “If you’re a church guy, you don’t want to spend any more time in California than you have to. It’s Obama country out here, full of liberals. And I’ve got a pretty good idea about your politics, being a church guy and all. I suspect your political leanings are pretty much like mine: starts with an ‘R’ and not a ‘D.’
Apparently finding a response from me unnecessary, he plowed on. “Yeah, this state is a Mecca (sly wink) for lefties. You probably heard we got gay marriage here again (exaggerated eye-roll). And I know how you feel about that. Am I right?”
This time I didn’t wait for him not to wait for me: “Actually, I’m proud to be in California on this historic day when marriage for all people begins again in earnest.” And, being unable to help myself, I said, “I suspect God’s proud of California today, too.”