Thursday morning I helped out at the local soup kitchen. One of the people I’ve gotten to know better, heck she invited me to her wedding, asked me how I’m doing.
Now, defensive skeptic and wary me could very easily have told her “enough” told her what would have been a polite sociable churchable truth…or I could let her in to what’s really going on…to which I did. My emotions and my situation, the truth of it all was more raw than sushi, I mean the waterworks don’t kick in but in someone else’s case they might.
Working at the soup kitchen has taught me a lot in regards to thinking big picture, caring for the least of these and definitely finding God in situations that are out of my or someone else’s control – The supernatural in the natural, God in the midst of pain and suffering, God in everything…because He isn’t a God who created us and walked away, it certainly seems like it at times but He isn’t devoid of his creation.
Being transparent, living in comm(unity) and simply being real/authentic with others is what I strive for, it’s a big part of the give and take.
In this act of giving and taking, it works both ways, if it is acted out right. Transparency begets transparency, and if you’re in comm(unity) and find you have your guards up and you wonder why people around you are only giving fine-and-good answers? In the words of Gandhi – “Be the change you want to see”
So often I talk a good game in church of what I want to see done, what I want to see get accomplished but it all begins with well, what am I going to do about it? I think my dependency on the church is equally as much as the church’s dependency on me, as if there’s some symbiotic relationship going on. I know I want more from the church, but I also know the church wants more from me as well and in many ways I say “yes, sign me up!” because I have hope.
“The church should be a place of healing, not harming” and there are many times when I question that at this time…but there will come a time where this is truly true, and not just thrown out as a defense, a pat answer to satisfy those who are comfortable in their seats. It might not seem like that at this time, but there will come a day where it will…I’m optimistic about that, but how does one get there? Well, you have to start here before you get there, again it comes back to me and the change I want see.
I like what Charles Studd said; “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell” – To get messy, to get gritty, to step out and be a follower of Christ and go places where good little Christian boys and girls do NOT want to go. I’m rough around all my edges, I am a cynic, I love and I hate, I am see contradictory and perhaps controversial by my friends and family…but it is worth it, to be a part of comm(unity) and work out this thing called life together…as we should, regardless of our religious or non religious beliefs.
I want to be a part of the give and take, the folding of hands in prayer and the uplifting up of hands in frustration for life gone awry, the marriage line of “in good times and bad/in sickness and health” and also the line of “til death do us part”.
It starts with me, but God knows and I know it doesn’t end with me.