January 26, 2015
My “office” – home, or away – is usually a coffee specialty store; my typical day begins with the first cup at/around 5:00a. Watching the early morning weekday caffeine crowd come-and-go creates an intriguing demographic study…
This morning – before daylight – a Beamer convertible pulled into the clearly-marked handicapped parking spot, directly in front of the entrance. The woman was 30ish; she was in her workout finest, probably headed for the gym for her spin class. With one smooth move, she pulled the blue placard out of her door pouch and hung it on her rear-view mirror before bounding into the store, and getting into the line for her latte…
Currently, in the State of California, there are 24 million licensed drivers… and 2.1 million Disabled Person Parking Placards (or license plates). Who gets those gold-plated, renewed-for-life, free-pass-from-parking-toll goodies? Here’s the criterion:
You may qualify for a DP placard or DP license plates if you have impaired mobility due to having lost use of one or more lower extremities, or both hands, or have a diagnosed disease that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility, or one who is severely disabled to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive device. You may also qualify if you have specific, documented visual problems, including lower-vision or partial-sightedness.
The person who fits that narrow definition must be present when the vehicle bearing the DP credential is parking in a designated space. “This is my grandmother’s car,” or, “I’m here to pick up my handicapped friend” doesn’t meet the test (especially when you’re on your way – alone – to your daily workout at LA Fitness).
Municipalities are warming to the importance of enforcement… because they’re losing revenue from their parking monopolies. The application for the permit must be signed by a medical professional; I wonder if the same docs who do bogus DP permits have a higher-than-average rate of referral for medical marijuana?
The point: things are not always what they seem. People who say they are – and people who are what they say – are not necessarily the same.
Every day, there are lots of cars parked in the blue spaces by people who are not disabled. And, every Sunday, there are lots of people parked in church auditoriums who are not redeemed.
The enforcement for the Sunday crowd won’t happen until the End, when Jesus checks the tags, personally: “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance – isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience – doing what my Father wills. I can see it now – at the Final Judgment: thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here…’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23 in The Message).
It doesn’t matter who signed my baptismal certificate; even thoughtful people can be scammed. All it takes is faith to get the grace that saves; that bona fide opens Heaven’s door. But… how can you confirm the presence of that saving faith?
According to the Gatekeeper (that’s Jesus; he didn’t delegate that role to Peter), it’s serious obedience that confirms the validity of saving faith…