Having Lunch with Donald Trump

Posted: July 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

Fork and Green Beans

Call it fortuitous. I was seated to the immediate right of Donald Trump on a bench before plank tables in a rather simple but spacious lodge-like dining hall. It was lunchtime. Though I wanted to avoid staring, I turned slightly to my left and watched him eat what was before him. Most conspicuous was the rather full fork of green beans that he proceeded to swallow in one hungry gulp.

“At least I’m eating my vegetables,” he said. I nodded. “And they were grown right here in Missouri,” I retorted.

In my dream, Donald was his present biological age, showing all the wear and tear of the years. But his emotional age was much, much younger. He was, as the unconscious goes, maybe ten. He sought the same kind of approval that a ten year old might desire. And because he was not allowed to grow into mature manhood, he remained stuck there, at age ten.

The trappings of his elite life had allowed him to move through growing up, but without the formation of mature manhood. He was given unbridled power and protected status too early. He continued a charmed life of little responsibility and self-indulgent freedom. His character never developed. In the end he became a menace to the world surrounding him, a person who exploited others as an immature ten year old might. He was enthralled with his own ability to get what he wanted. He was even excited by his ability to intimidate and harm others with his biases and prejudice.

But on that bench by that table with a fork of green beans, it was a different story. In a rare moment I looked upon a broken little boy and had empathy for him. That empathy in no way gave him a pass for his large catalog of future misdeeds. It was, rather, a glimpse into what existed before a course of events twisted it.

I suppose I have always wanted to look favorably upon Donald Trump. I want to look upon every person in that way before the world disfigured what was originally created in the image of God. But I have not been able to see Donald Trump that way, blocked as I have been by his heinous actions and thoughts. Even now, as his house of cards collapses, he doubles down on incessant lying, jeopardizing his own people, and threatening the democracy he swore to uphold.

The dream gave me what my waking self could not, some compassionate look beyond all the debris and destruction. I suppose we fantasize about doing that with other historical characters whose misguided motives harmed so many: every one was born somewhere to a mother, drank her milk, learned to walk, and toddled into life. If only we had known them before.

It was my subconscious that provided a boy eating green beans. There were no kids in cages, no obedient subordinates protecting him from prosecution, no unraveling of the hard work of generations.  We want to love people, or something of them, even a trace, that had some strand of a purpose in the mind of God. But everything they became keeps us from seeing it.

By the time this story is over, we will unable to see that part of him through our own contempt and disdain. But today, just today, I am allowing a benevolent eye to look upon a ten year old eating green beans. If I am capable of nothing more than that, at least I have this fragment of mercy, something I routinely depend upon for my own somewhat selfish, frequently unrighteous, and partially broken ten year old.


  1. Gloria Beranek says:

    Very good Tim! This reminds me of revenge killing and what it does to the person who is seeking revenge. Our constant reacting takes its toll on all of us twofold: the initial outrageous behavior of a 10 year old and our ulcer producing reaction.

    More understanding of this game would be more helpful tossed in with a bit of psychological compassion.

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