Saturday, April 20, 2013

What I have been thinking on lately...

Photo: Cassie Bertsch and Aaron Gerber's wedding
Life is so fleeting.  And only what we do for Christ will last.

I've known for quite some time that I am introvert.  But for as long as I know, I have felt bad about it.  This book has been very inciteful, and has helped me realize that not all of us can be extroverts...and that is OK.

Things I Don't Do by Shauna Niequist
One of my core fears is that someone would think I can’t handle as much as the next person. It’s fundamental to my understanding of myself for me to be the strong one, the capable one, the busy one, the one who can bail you out, not make a fuss, bring a meal, add a few more things to the list. 

For me, everything becomes a lifestyle. Everything is an addiction.

And then better. Better is a seductress. It’s so delicious to run after better, better, better. Better is what keeps some women decorating and redecorating the same house for years on end, because by the time you get the last detail of the finished basement home theater just right, your countertops are just ever so slightly outdated, and so you start again. Better is what makes us go to a spinning class — or maybe two, or maybe three today, just for good measure. Better is what makes us get “just a little work done,” after the last baby, you know, or just to look a little bit fresher and more well-rested. 

Better is a force.

The three together, DO EVERYTHING BETTER, are a super-charged triple threat, capturing in three words the mania of modern life, the anti-spirit, anti-spiritual, soul-shriveling garbage that infects and compromises our lives.

And lastly,
this: The Gospel of Flea Markets
I'm a collector of the discarded and the worn. I've paid cash for five defunct sprinklers because they're quirky and I'm fond of their rust. I don't mind taking the quilt that's fraying at the edges - I prefer it, in fact. The flower pot is chipped? Hand it over. The knob is broken? Sure, because it tells a story.
I've chosen to decorate my life with things that someone else has rejected. Things that aren't done living, things that can be bought for a song. They still have something to offer and maybe I can provide the context to prove it.

Why is it so different with people? My instinct is to back slowly away from the broken and the hurting. Why do I strain to see the beauty in their chips and dings?

For years I've convinced myself that my love is earmarked for the broken like me. I'm more cut out for middle-class heartache, thank you very much. My solidarity is with people who think/act/talk/smell/live like me.

I'd really rather forget about the dead streets covered by canopies of oppression. I'd like to never know in the first place about the boys who lurch down them at dusk.

I want to look away. To hide. To pretend life could always be what it was when I was eleven.

But I'm learning the beauty of meeting the eyes around me. I'm forcing myself across the busy street and I'm doing it with precious cargo, not because it's natural or even because I always want to, but because I suspect it's the only way I'll learn that we're all the walking wounded.

I used to think God gave me a particular heart to love the tattered things that other people pass over. Only now do I see the incompleteness of that belief.

I am called to love broken people. Loving broken things is just a hobby.
 My childhood was a dream. It shaped me. I see no fault in it and I'll always thank my lucky stars.

But my kids were called someplace different.

My hope is that everything that jars my senses and makes my heart lurch will become their ordinary wild. My prayer is that they'll walk with ease to their neighbor's table and notice early the way shards of amber glass can catch spring's light.

1 comment:

  1. Your excerpt from Shauna's book reminds me of a post I did a while (a long while) back. It was on the beauty of being lazy. I'm still preaching that "gosple" and now I feel even more validated!