rick & 1j13
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Midweek Meandering
It's Wednesday. My family will be home tomorrow. I've missed my kids, their loud boisterous fun reverberating around the house (when they get back, I'll probably be yelling "keep it down!", but give me my moment of sentimentality, ok?). Last night was especially quiet. I got home after a nice evening out with friends, and during the night's thunderstorm our electricity had gone off. It was really quiet, and I had to stumble around alone in the dark looking for matches and candles - with my wife on my cellphone trying to navigate for me from a hundred miles away.

I've missed my wife - conversations over the phone, much like with email or even on this blog, just aren't the same as seeing another person's face when talking about the day's happenstances. I'm glad they're coming home, glad they'll be in town in time for church, looking forward to them running to hug-attack me in the back offices.I've got some thoughts that are disturbing. Not that the thoughts themselves are causing me any grief - on the contrary, they affirm what's probably been building in me for some time. No, the "disturbing" part is that I'm not sure anyone would understand, not sure if the people around me, the ones closest to me, would still accept me in the same light if they knew what I was thinking. These thoughts have to do with salvation, evangelism, the Gospel, politics - big chunky pieces of theology and doctrine that most people have already figured out, or cultural phenomena that I "should be taking more seriously", I suppose. There's some deconstructing going on, and that hurts people - stretches our pride, bruises our ego, takes us to the edge of the cliff faster than we'd otherwise go on our own.

But I was challenged last night to stand for something - not that I don't stand for certain foundational essentials in my walk with Christ, but that no one really knows what those are for me. Frankly, I might not know them either. I've deconstructed farther than anyone else in my real-people-sphere-of-influence. I've tried to leave Jesus as the only bedrock, and everything else from scripture interpretation to my political stances is up for grabs. I trust God to take care of me in that mess. I really do. I don't want to be disagreeable for the sake of being disagreeable - that's not beneficial, and if that's the way I'm actually coming across it might explain why I don't find much benefit in the whole exchange.

One of my beefs is that I hate to be a stereotype, a label, a statistical formula - I think our faith is more complex than that, and at the same time in Christ, it's more simple, too. I can live with the paradox, within the apparent contradiction, as long as it can be lived out with integrity, authenticity and generosity. And if I'm going to err, I'd rather be too loving, too merciful, too servant-oriented. Not that I am any of those things on any consistent basis, but you get the picture. I guess what I'm finding is that I need to be more comfortable with being labelled, though - and then from within that definition, I need to be able to stretch it out to something I don't mind wearing. Maybe.

So, I'll post over the next few weeks "where I stand" - all my solid truths, my equally solid doubts, and my questioning answers to life, the universe and everything. It'll be good to get that stuff down somewhere, making me have to think through life the way I see it so that others know what they're getting and where they're going when they tag along with me.

Thanks for playing. Did I mention that my family is coming home tomorrow?
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