Theology in the Trenches: How to take a notch out of the belt of a cowboy

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

In stocking feet he stood. Blue jeans scuffed floor, mopping up dust kicked up. Corralled were the horses on metal belt buckle as it lay within a plastic bin riding down the airport security concourse.

Minus several inches in stature was he as leather boots made their way on through the metal detector which screens anything that might give way to harm’s way. 

Airport side, he wasn’t so stately as he pulled upon belt loops to up hold the threads he was wearing.

Grabbing what was left of his self respect, slowly he buckled up once more as each item finds its way back.

I’d wager a bet that he was beholding to security once he got hold of his boots again. The worn leather looked all official like as the dusty brown hide revealed labor well done. 

He was the real deal. No doubt he’d side stepped a bit of natural fertilizer a time or two with those thick, boot licking heels which completed his attire.

Easing on through to the gate, he kept his stride all cool, calm, and collected like. 

Cowgirl I’m not, but relating I was as security had just had their way with me.

No longer are the skies so friendly. We are all suspect now, including 60-year-old grandmas when showing up with no photo I.D. 

Even carryon bags are ransacked though nothing’s within except baby items purchased for a children’s home far away. 

Nope, all are suspect and for this I am beholding. They must do their job. It’s just sort of different now that the tension offsets the relaxation that travel used to offer.

I find myself suspect of others, and I don’t like how I’m trying to scan those around who are standing round.

I watched as a lady set off some bells and whistles with a pocket knife and tool combo. Abruptly she was whisked away. Wasn’t she the same lady who had just allowed someone standing near the use of her phone? She seemed nice enough. Go figure, you just never know. 

Everyone’s so quiet. Not a jovial one in the bunch from what I can see. Way too serious a business is flying these days. As it should be, I guess.

Hebrews 13:2 sort of puts it all clear like. “Continue in brotherly love. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Perhaps with that in mind, we can perhaps attempt to fly the friendly skies just a little more friendly like. Amen. 

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)