Jim's bell ringing again this year for the Salvation Army. I don't approve, he knows this, but he's not exactly jumping for the joy to be ringing their bell either but I think he feels an obligation to do it because he used to be the coordinator for the bell ringers from our church. The guy that took his position of the president of mens ministry at our church has apparently dropped the ball on doing some of the community wide things, like scheduling bell rings. Hence Jim does it.
This is so much the good-guy nature of Jim that I admire and just don't always get. We've had many conversations in this house about the things that are abhorrent about the Salvation Army, from the money and support they give to organizations that oppose civil rights for gay people to the fact that the exploit their work force and pay the workers very little. There's more wrong with them than their involvement in active homophobia, that's the issue that gets publicity.
While Jim agrees with me about stopping supporting them he also seems to be unable to say 'no' when his successor dropped the ball. Jim steps up and does those things when others bail. Was today a day of bailing, oh boy!
We got a progression of phone calls of those scheduled to ring the bell in front of our Wal Mart today, most of them bailing on the flimsiest of excuses. didn't complain, he either covered or found someone to cover, pulling two of the six shifts the church was responsible for in the freezing assed cold. He's nicer than I by far.
It made the day fractured and frantic. I admit, I don't like surprises, but I wasn't totally surprised that Jim got stuck doing the work and schedules. This has happened in the past.
When his phone was obviously malfunctioning I had to drive out to that most hated of places Wal Mart, on a day when you would not catch me dead ever shopping, the Saturday before Christmas. Wal Mart's parking lot was a sea of every kind of vehicle, from rolling scrap iron to fancy Hummers and Mercedes with the wilder than our usual pageant of the transmundane people coming in and out.
While my heart was shrinking three sizes and I could feel the rest of me seizing up into Mr. Grinch proportions Jim was cheerfully working that bell and approaching folks for cash in his kettle.
I'm starting to think this cheerful helping and acceptance that Jim always models as the real picture of a good Christian man, not any of that hideous leader of the family bullshit tin-plated dictator pushed by most.