Lumbar and Life Support

As Caroline likes to remind me on a daily basis, I have a long torso and short, stumpy legs. Somehow, these stumpy legs make me a pretty good sprinter, but stumpy they are. The torso is my curse, though. I don’t want to sound like a wimp and say that I have bad lower back pain, because it’s really not there. But it’s pretty bad, especially after playing sports.

The pain goes away, however, if someone presses on my back. The pressure is the equivalent of wearing a lumbar brace, one of those leather straps that some guys wear at the gym and on construction sites. I’d love to get one of those, wear it under my clothes all the time.

A few weeks ago, a friend of Caroline’s stayed with us for the weekend. I noticed one night that she was wearing a certain accessory…something that just might ease the pressure from my lower back and help me make a fashion statement at the same time. Something like…this:

I’m not sure why I found this amusing, but I did, and I still do. I think the idea of these giant belts is kind of silly in the first place, and even moreso on a guy—especially a guy with a hulking, masculine figure such as mine.

I had another random idea the other day for our drive-thru nation (I recently suggested that more libraries have drive-thru pick-up and drop-off windows. We have drive-thru pharmacies, food, Starbucks, banks…but do we have anything that actually adds to our moral compass?

Hence my idea: Drive-thru confessionals.

For all of you non-Catholics out there, the idea of a confessional is similar to what you see in the movies. Guy sits and talks through a screen to a priest, who helps the person find a way to absolve their sins if they’re truly sorry. It’s a universal idea, forgiveness. Different religions do it in different ways, but it’s a common thread.

So if it’s such a good thing, why not make it more accessible? Why not have drive-thru confessionals attached to churches or other buildings. Say you’re at work one day, and you just finished doing something for your job, but it made you feel a little dirty. On your way to Hardees, drop by the drive-thru confessional and say you’re sorry. Sure, you could have a little prayer session right where you are and apologize to God for whatever you did, but there’s something satisfying about having a real person tell you that it’s okay, and that the mere action of going to confession means that you’re truly sorry.

I think this idea stems from the idea that lately I’ve been thinking a lot about bridging the gap between religion and people. I don’t want my church to just be a building that people hang out in once a week. And it needs to be more than a social gathering place. I want people—specifically, students—to walk out of my church as better people. Freer people. People who can bring morality to the business world and the medical world and the wonderful world of the law. It’s a lofty goal, but I’m hoping to add a few planks to the bridge during my time at my job.

Tomorrow:

How I Saved the Environment