Today we visited a church to hear a family we love play music. Man, the music was so good. Filling the small, high ceiling sanctuary were the organs of gospel music and the cadence of Americana. The fat and tender guitar riffs drifted into my soul. God was pressing on me, as he had many times before in worship. It nearly always took the form of tears, and this time was no exception.
Though the music was modern, some of the hymns were not: we sang “Standing on the Promises”, familiar from my childhood days at small Bible Chapels on the east coast. Back in those days, I’d memorized God’s promises from scripture through clubs like Awana: “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. The promises were God’s, given to a different people at a different time, but we were taught to take them on as our own.
I’m in the midst of a job change now after nearly 10 years, after somehow working my way into the Committed Club. You know the Club, you’re probably in it too. The Club is for people who go above and beyond, even when no one is looking, in order to please…. who exactly?
Even after giving notice, my manager is still pouring on the requests and I am still – still – trying dutifully to fulfill them, on my way out the door. But instead of writing about his high expectations, I once again have to own this – this is me and now that it’s happened in two significant parts of my life, it’s clear that I am the common thread.
Yet another strand to unwind from this spool of yarn deconstructing all over my floor.
I did the same as a volunteer. My organization of choice just happened to be the church. Now that we have attended a new church for a few months, Continue reading “Pleasing Others”
After 25 years in one particular church I’ve been walking around a little. Hearing other voices, joining other groups in worship, seeing how God looks through other stained glass. In case you haven’t been out there lately, Continue reading “The Common Table”
It’s time, again, to go out. Out beyond the known walls. This has meant so much more than a Sunday change. It’s about hearing new voices, meeting and listening to new people, reading new authors, engaging and participating: not as one with an agenda but as one who has a lot to learn.
I could have written this as a 21-year old finishing college, and I daresay I did. I went off my security grid and into a gritty part of LA, listening to lives as different from my own as I could imagine. Teens in the neighborhood didn’t give a damn about Continue reading “The Wall”
I’ve been on a journey into a new world of people and thinking, a group that I previously thought of as “others”. It’s the LGBTQ community, of which my daughter has become a part of since she came out. The good news is that I’ve found plenty of Love in God’s storehouse that overflows for all. The bad news is that I’ve had to confront a lot of things in myself to get there.
Well, actually both of those news stories are good.
There’s a special kind of challenge for a kid who grows up suppressing something they discover inside themselves, with few role models. I’ve had to ask myself how I’ve been a part of Continue reading “Paying Attention”
If history gave us mulligans, I would infiltrate the Crusades and make one tiny change. Instead of a crusade of control and conversion, I would wage a war of wasteful embrace. And marching Continue reading “A Wasteful Embrace”