“Mama! You said we can’t put any food in that trash can.”
Shit. She’s right. How do I explain to her that orange peels dry quickly and don’t mold the way banana peels and apple cores do? One day she’ll have mastered the basics of trash etiquette — today is not that day.
Lucy is five. As far as she knows, nothing that enters or exits her mouth may enter that trash can, the one that we use exclusively for overdue bills and Christmas cards.
Apple sauce cups? No way.
Orange peels? Yes. They even freshen up the smell of the bills and papers piled on top.
One day it’ll click, that orange peels are okay. In order for my daughter to mature and improvise creatively she needs a comprehensive understanding of my trash laws. Before Picasso began abstracting he spent years mastering the true and literal human form. Imagine the moment he realized the fullness of his capabilities!
I can’t wait for her to place that piece in the parenting puzzle. My parent’s rules aren’t the only way! My mama taught me to think and I think that the moisture content of an orange peel is low enough. Plus this zest will make their bills smell great!
A couple weeks ago our church publicly and beautifully announced our support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. The Love and Unity in that sanctuary poured out the big front doors, down the crumbling front stairs, and ran rainbow-y through the streets of downtown Denver.
“God! You said that homosexuality was an abomination!”
Shit. She’s right. How do I explain that the Bible, My holy Word, is true and foundational, but also fluid, mobile, and alive? One day they’ll understand that Jesus, My Boy, filled in those contradictory gaps with His boundless Love. One day they’ll trust the gift of my Spirit in them enough to start building on the solid ground that Scripture established.
Addict? You bet.
It doesn’t make sense to me, either—I have no clue how this Grace and Love thing works. All I know is that God wanted me even when I put my son in the NICU after years of abusing pain meds AS I WAS, no questions asked. Surely God wants my gay brothers and sisters, immigrants, and congressmen.
The American Fundamentalist & Evangelical church is riding a wave bound for the shore, where it will crash—destroying many egos, identities, and seminaries in the sandy collision. For too long we denied the testimony and life of Christ and the power of the Spirit moving through all of us.
We were afraid of what a truly Christ-led life would look like. Instead of looking at the vast forest of redemption, unity, and love that the Bible creates, we chose to look at the trees—abortion, LGBT rights, divorce, etc. Wouldn’t you rather get lost in a forest of loving, redemptive, living Truth than spend your days arguing over whether a single tree belongs there?
We can honor the good doctrine Evangelical fundamentalism gave us, yes. But I believe God is calling us forward, daring us to step deeper into that wooded, holy chaos.
The Law sets a good, solid, true foundation. Period. End Story.
I wonder though if maybe God is starting to get a little antsy with our reluctance to let His/Her Spirit of Love and Unity begin to mature our understanding of that Law? Both/And. What if, like a good parent, God can’t wait for us to get creative–abstractive even–in how we live, love, interpret & apply the Living Word?
“Babe, one day you’ll be able to put orange peels in that trash can, too.” I assured Lucy. And I smile, knowing that the day for me has come, it is here. Yours is, too. We are waking up! Do you believe in a Loving Parent inviting you to build something bigger, braver, more inclusive, and more Loving?
The orange peels, the precepts we believed immoveable? Turns out they may actually move.
We take our lead from Christ. His very breath and blood flow through us all, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in Love. We aren’t five-years-old anymore, we were born for this.