Sunday, November 20, 2016

But I can't

THIS is happening right down the street from us.  

Y'all,.... in the very next block;  and we're about to have a stretch of several just like it right there with it very soon.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  Add about 3 more stories to the construction and you'll have a more accurate visual.  You, too can be my neighbor for close to a million dollars..... no joke.  Thank the real estate gods above for a clever buying decision from us years ago. 

And THIS happened at our church and has been in the news almost daily since those news camera men were up in the balcony last Sunday morning hoping to see something odd and interesting going on.  But they just saw the regular ol' thing, .... singing, praying, and a whole lot of people willing to withstand a bunch of criticism and questioning in order to do the right thing.

And this morning there were a handful of protestors carrying signs out front of the church and pretty much in their own Sharpie Marker and poster board kind of way, damning us to hell or whatever.  But what I would like for these people to know is this:  

#1 - if you were going to protest something, you should've done it years ago... because this church has always done what we're still doing today.  Loving on everyone, despite the opinions of others.   It just happened to be put down on paper this time.   And, #2 - it's much warmer inside and if you would just come sit with me in the balcony, you and I can talk about all the things wrong in the world, together, and try to find our place in them all.  Because we're all in there, mister.  If I tried to count the bad decisions I make on a daily basis, I would surely tire from trying.  If I even tried to remember all the bad choices and things on the Do Not Do These Things list in the Bible, that I have done in my undisclosed number of years on this earth, the angels would run out of hallelujah choruses and have to resort to a simple orchestral background for the duration of my meditation of sins.   And finally, #3, you probably just need a hug and so do I, because I'm feeling a bit under the weather today.

Y'all, it was just two years ago that the news cameras were filling our balcony the first time - flash back to the Ebola crisis here in Dallas.  Because shockingly similar to today's news, back then Wilshire was also the church doing the most courageous and unexpected thing since man walked on the moon.  Or that time when that guy leaped from one roof top to another to impress a girl, but got stuck in the middle of the two and the fire department had to spend hours saving him.  One of those examples is exactly like what I'm trying to say.  

When I was invited to be one of the church bloggers a couple of years ago, I think surprise would be the first word that came to mind.  Honored would be the second.  But I'm another example of a church stepping away from the same old, traditional Christian stories.... and instead, seeking to share stories of Christians out and about in the everyday.  

I guess a good rule would go something like this:  Try to remember that Jesus spent quality time with folks that others said he shouldn't, and let that be our guiding vision in the world.  Thanks be to God that he did and still does, right? 

I think our responses to change are a direct reflection of our personal willingness to accept it.  I happen to be a quick change artist in a gym locker room.  Off with the sweaty, on with the dry.  And I can change moods with the wind.   But in the big things?   I don't care a bit for it.  Ask Fireman Dave and he'll tell you that I resist change with all my being, as evidenced by my tendency to hang onto worn out underwear far past their expiration date.  It's an attachment issue, in an odd sort of underwear attachment way.  I also don't fancy travel or anything else that upsets my routine.  For breakfast I like to eat peanut butter on toast, then go to work, praying my way down the road, continuing on from there in my routine way of doing things  - and in all the same, predictable places.  I may stop by the Stein Mart instead of the TJ Maxx on the way home, but that's about as carefree as I get. 

But everyday is  a lesson and I've learned that I can't hang onto much because time won't let me.  And  I can't stay the same with the intent of trying to make everyone and everything else around me freeze alongside me.  I'm getting reminders of that all the time with the boys.  I couldn't find Kid 1 one day after school last week.  And when a teenager doesn't answer his phone I immediately think he's either dead, or doing something he probably shouldn't be doing.

And I hated to, but I ended up contacting the girlfriend... Y'all, what should I call her on the blog?  Help me out with a name that describes adorableness, peppy energy and young love for my son... For now let's call her Contestant #1 - like in the dating game?  Lord, how old am I to remember that...

Anyway, Contestant #1 knew where Kid 1 was and it made me so mad and jealous that she knew something I didn't.  Because, remember... in my jealous shade of green eyes, change ranks right up there with a bad hair day on an occasion when people might see me.  

I'd like to hang onto my boys like an old pair of underwear with the elastic all stretched out, but still safely tucked inside my top drawer.  I'd like to keep driving the same road every day.  And I'd like to slow the world down long enough to let me speak my mind about the way I think it should be.  

But I can't. 

Growing up is hard to do  -  for all of us. 

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