It’s time to shift our energy from blessing the blessed to serving the least. It’s time to take the gospel seriously and quit glossing over all the passages instructing us to take care of widows and orphans (no, He wasn’t kidding), serving the least, fighting on behalf of the weak. It’s time to get off my tooshy and do what I’ve been called to do.
Yes. I wrote three entire blog posts all summer. It’s pathetic. I know. I started this entry with “I suck,” but I think I’ve written that before – once or twice or eighteen times. I think calling myself a “writer” is delusional. Real writers sit their butts in their desk chairs every single day and they write, whether or not they have anything to write about. Me? I sit my butt down on my great intentions and play Words With Friends. Or read. Or talk on the phone. Or check Facebook. Again. Or – most likely scenario – clean up the constant piles of crap sprouting from my kitchen counters. My children plant the crap seeds there on the last day of school, and it’s a constant harvest throughout the summer.
So I’ve been a distracted procrastinator, and I convince myself that this whole writing gig is a joke, that I’m no good at it, and the world is a better place without my meaningless drivel.
Until my husband and my friend knocked me over the head with a 2×4 and lovingly told me to get off my lazy tooshy, quit my whining, and do what God has told me to do. Which I will. Next week.
My list of “things to do during the summer” has been edited to “things to do when school starts.” But my lack of productivity isn’t all bad. We had a great summer.
I did paint Griffin’s room (which was first on my list):
And I restored a dumpster-dive chair that’s been sitting in my garage for three years:
Oh, wait. That’s all. Yep. Those are the only two items crossed off my list.
We went to the beach…
And we went to Ohio to visit the Dupps…
Meghan went to a two week summer intensive with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, Mississippi. Yes. My baby stayed in a college dorm at a camp in Mississippi, 400 miles away, for two weeks. About twenty miles from the campus, Michael and I had the same silent thought, and he voiced it.
“Do you realize in five years, we’re going to be dropping her off at college for real?”
Please stop talking.
I refuse to think about In Five Years, and I choose to focus on Right Now. On dance class schedules, baseball practices, piano lessons. On tutoring and exercising – because I have taken a hard fall off the wagon this summer and have the flab to prove it.
But I’m most excited about this feeling of standing at the starting line, waiting for the whistle, ready to run. God is up to something. We’re ready. We’re looking around, asking what’s next. He’s sitting quietly, not ready to reveal it. But it’s coming.
This feeling stems from this book
and this book.
Also this one.
I had a conversation with two dear friends a few months ago about church styles and traditions. My church home happens to lean toward the contemporary and high-energy, drums and vocal team on microphones. My friends prefer more traditional and contemplative, hymnals, piano and choir robes. Neither is wrong nor better. But here’s what I’ve learned since then: both risk complete irrelevance within the next two generations if we, as a collective body, don’t wake up, kick it in gear, and start being broken and poured out for the poor, the lonely, the excluded, the disillusioned, the marginalized. We are two generations away from being totally ignored if we don’t start practicing what we say we believe. The post-modern generation doesn’t care about apologetics. They don’t care about what we say. They care about authentic relationships. They care about compassion. They care about justice and making this dark world more hopeful, the heaviness lighter.
My 2×4-wielding friend, Caroline, is simultaneously thanking and cursing me because I gently encouraged her to read these books this summer. And she is now turned inside out, upside down, backward, and sideways. In a good way.
We wanted to sit down and spew our thoughts and emotions all over each other. We’re good at that. But, blast it, The Prince of Darkness himself requested a throw-down. So after she tangoed with him in the Cook Children’s ER, he backed her minivan into a flooded gulch. But Caroline invented stubborn, and she was having none of that.
(Seriously, go read about it here. But put on an adult diaper first. I promise you will wet yourself. That girl is funny.)
Caroline finally made her way to my front porch, where we sat on the rocking chairs for hours and tried to make sense of what all this means, what we are supposed to do, how it will look. We want to Be The Change. We want to love deeply, compassionately. We want to step off the ladder of the American quest for power and reputation. We want to serve – and learn from – the least.
We don’t yet know the how, the who, the where. We had reached the very cusp of an ingenious breakthrough when a spider as large as my head emerged from the bushes onto the front porch.
So we called it a night.
Caroline doesn’t mess around. Despite not having cracked a book since college, she is starting a book club.
A book club.
I told you she was funny.
We’re going to write about one section of Interrupted each week, so please feel free to read along with us and jump in the conversation.
(By the way, faithful Couch Dwellers, I know you’re out there. I have Sitemeter. But, for the love, please please please comment on my posts. You’re giving me a serious self-deprecating inferiority complex. I feel so unloved. Maybe I would write more if you chimed in more. Not that I’m blaming you for my lack of self-discipline and my shameful squirrel-chasing tendencies. I’m just saying. I’d really love to hear from you.)
(End of pathetic, passive-aggressive whining.)
Check out Caroline. Check out Interrupted. Prepare to be ripped open and turned inside out, then put back together most beautifully. You won’t come out the other end unchanged.
(Pack some adult diapers, too. That Hatmaker chick is hilarious.)
It’s time to move the tooshy.