Bill Shea told this joke to describe what it felt like for him and his wife Mary when news of their son Tim’s death reached them: Someone had stolen their tent. Their life as it had been ended. Yes, this is a joke, but upon reflection, Bill is so right. It is a very powerful metaphor for what happens in our lives when tragedy shows up uninvited.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decide to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.
Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”
“What does that tell you?”
Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”
“Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.” “Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”
“Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.” “Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”
“What does it tell you, Holmes?” Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!”
What do we do when we realize “life” has stolen our tent…the safe place we’ve created for ourselves. Rich