Although the road was circuitous and much misbehaving happened from start to finish Abraham’s descendants eventually did flourish like the stars. Eventually. But at any pin prick point in time, Abraham and Sarah were a mess.
Yesterday I suggested that all glory and no guts is not the story the bible tells. Even though there’s tons of glory (which we all love). Before we get too hopped up on miraculous signs and wonders, heed the words of Jesus: “Unless you see miraculous signs and wonders, you won’t believe.” John 4:48, CEB.
We can argue over whether this was Jesus taking a shot at someone, or Jesus gently correcting, or Jesus just telling the truth. But there is no argument over the gist of the quote. Jesus isn’t a fan of a big show of religiosity or loving God in the hopes he will show you a shooting star. He aligns himself with his Father: do justice, embrace faithful love…walk humbly with your God. BECAUSE GOD IS GOD…not for trinkets and magic show tricks.
I consider this as I stand at the edge of the fight and consider my options with the lightning fast processing of a big a** computer – or maybe an iphone. I am NOT going to get in the middle of all that shouting nonsense. I am not responsible for changing someone else. I am able to think creatively. Just because I can think of 100 things I want to do but probably shouldn’t doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be done. And then, like a shooting star, it comes to me. I spin around and rush back to my car, throwing open the back hatch, and thank my lucky shooting stars that I am messy and I hoard books I love. I rifle through the Target bags and dig under the area rug that I must return this week. I toss aside my bible and my big book. I ignore my grandson’s pretty blue sweater that I have been looking for going on ages – will it still fit him? And there, shining like two little beacons of light I find them. Two freshly minted mostly undamaged books of “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown, her latest publication which I have already read cover-to-cover FOUR times. She has some language in there about politics and people and conflict and bravery that are just so good. I grab them, slam the trunk, and return to the scene of what I think is a crime. And I say, as calmly as a person can who knows she might be called crazy in two minutes, “Excuse me. I have a gift for each of you.” Gifts are always something that create a pause. I stand between them and have just enough room to extend my arms and hand each of them the book. I say, “I hope this helps your suffering.” And then I walk back to my car and drive off.
I totally forget to vote.
I don’t know if this was good or bad or right or wrong or just crazy. I do know it was so upsetting that I had to go home and sit for 15 minutes to calm down before going BACK to vote. I just hope it helps. I hope it is more reflective of doing justice, loving faithfully, and humbly walking than my frozen state of non-doing last year. Of course, if you see these two guys yukking it up on Facebook about how that crazy old lady with the really cool boots did that totally insane book giveaway which effectively caused them to stop their public disagreement and what a nut job she was, please don’t judge her. She was trying to be brave.