Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Speaking the Truth in Shove

I originally wrote this item in February of 2007. I ran across it today and thought it worthy of posting. TM

Eph 4:15-16 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

I’m still working out my salvation with beer and trembling. As I travel this journey of mine with Him, I find it difficult to see Him in a fearful way. I know I should honor, respect, and stand in awe of Him, and I do sort of, but I also see my Jesus in so many other ways. I see him as a High School buddy that would go out and TP someone’s house with me, or eat Sausage and Jalapeno Pizza, and yes, drink a beer with me. I know – “blasphemy!” to so many of you. Just stop it! Please! Drop your sacred cows and step away from them, or I’ll have them slaughtered on my altar of self-indulgence!

Now back to my suds-sucking Savior hangin with his homies.

Matt 11:1919 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." 'But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

I’m so glad He lets me be who I am, and then changes what He needs to on inside of me first before it manifests outwardly for all to see. What an amazing concept. I so want that for my kids. I want to impact them in a way that starts on the inside and moves outward. I know fathers that start on the outside with a belt or paddle, but isn’t there a way THE Father has shown that can take us deeper into the hearts of our kids and change them from the inside out?

That song, From the Inside Out is one that just disassembles my soul into a blubbering pile of clay. Oh to be pliable clay for the Potter’s hands so He can turn me inside out. How I love it when He just shows up down deep in there without knocking first because He knows He’s always welcome there – it’s His home.

What used to pass for authenticity with me was usually just arrogance. John Mc was a friend I met at work. We used to discuss all things political and spiritual every afternoon during our break time. We called it popcorn church because about four or five of us used to sit around the table eating a bag of microwave popcorn and discussing the issues of the day. We became unlikely friends. He called me RX4 which meant Rightwing Radical Religious Republican.

I was definitely a zealot of the conservative kind unwavering in my convictions, be it conservatism or Christianity, but I bristled at the notion I was religious. I was, but denied it nonetheless. He was a wounded Catholic, betrayed by God (so he thought), the Church, and people he loved, and he thought loved him. He had this giant hole that wanted desperately to be filled.

We started going to lunch and our conversations went deeper. He told me of the loss of his mother and how that terribly affected his faith. He cried. So did I. He told me she was a Saint and worthy to be left alone, untouched by anything painful or hurtful. Where was God when she suffered so?

I told him that I think we have it all wrong about God. We blame Him for stuff that goes wrong, and never seem to give Him credit when it goes right. I told him we live in a hostile environment and that the enemy wants to take us all out. Some of our illnesses come from our own hands, some from the generations of procreators before us, and some from our enemy – Satan himself. But let’s not blame God.

As a father, I would never ever put a disease on my child, nor would I kill them for someone else’s good or punishment. How much more will our Heavenly Father give us good things? I could see him thinking and wrestling with the notion that God loved him and his mother, and they could be friends.

He told me the first time he met me, he thought I was an “asshole.” I assured him I was. I still am at times. I drop deuces daily and it stinks! I can be someone who thinks the truth is needed, and speak it in a way that clarifies for all that I’m still in process and in need of grace. I like to say I can sometimes speak the truth in shove. Thank God His arms are longer than mine, and if He chooses to He can shove back. Most times, He just wraps ‘em around me.

I think I’ll go have a brew now and ponder some more the mysteries of the Creator of the Universe having a “thing” for me.


Barry Garrett said...

He is especially fond of you!

Anonymous said...

You used a word that I think has lost all it's credibility in this world. . ."blasphemy".

I don't think there's any such thing in true Christianity. Some action, words, sins, crimes, etc. are all forgiven by those who seek forgiveness. Plus the word is a judgement by a santimonious man over anyone he deems "unworthy" or "unholy" (whatever) so to me the word has no relevance and I will not use it.

I'm glad you found that good beer and Christ can go together, as long as you don't get inebriated.
All things in moderation my friend.

The Trailing Arbutus

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that He lets me be who I am. In fact, I think He wants me to be who I am. Isn't He looking for authenticity? I think so. If I'm not going to pretend to be someone else at church, why bother pretending when it's just me and Him? He already knows that I drink beer anyway and that I love JalapeƱo pizza. And if it means I would spend more time with Him, I'm certain He would sit down and have pizza and beer with me.

- TroyBoy