Such a Gringo

His dad has a video of Chito running across his backyard, trying to jump the fence into his pool.  He slips several times and on the last attempt slips so bad that he slams into the fence.  I also see him climbing a rope, hands only, getting to the top and slipping.  He didn’t fall, just scared us all to death.

And here I am crying.

I think he would tell me I’m being a gringo.

He would then tell me he found the perfect woman to marry because she cooks just like his mom, only now he can’t marry…

…’cuz he’s in heaven…

I think he would describe his accident with less fear than I presume.  I think he’d say something like, “man I was flying and then bam, I was in heaven.  It was sick.”

He would laugh at our tears, but only a little.  He’d tell us all to wear crazy shirts at his funeral.  Do something stupid like have jumping contests over chairs or off the stage.  And then he’d tell us to worship.  Worship with all our hearts.

He loved to worship.

I need to quit being such a gringo.  Because I think he’s right.

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I Can’t Feel

Last weekend I lost a very dear friend of mine.  I have not recovered.

My mind, my head feel full, pressured, blocked.

My hands, as I write, feel numb, thick, unwieldy.

My heart, oh that feels.  But what?  As I hear his voice in my head, his laughter, see his goofy smile and remember the stupid, silly things he said and did.  What can I allow it to feel?

I break down in tears over and over again and then laugh.  Then I am so angry and embittered.  Not at God, not at this young man, not at myself even.  I think I’m just angry at life.

What a crazy thing this life is.  So strong and binding…

So fragile and transient…

I’ve seen the pictures of birds on the internet, the swallow that feeds his dying mate, the protection of a pod of dolphins.  I don’t know what they’re feeling, what is happening inside them.  Maybe we are unique in the depths of our feelings, the strength of the attachments we are capable of forming.

Maybe we aren’t…

But I know enough of all of us that, if we let ourselves, we all enjoy living, we love life.

That means that when it is taken, when it is ended too quickly, when it is ended at all, a part of us dies too.

So, maybe how I feel right now is a gift from God too.  Maybe the hurt that I can’t feel, and the hurt I can’t allow myself to feel are all part of the evidence that, as stupid and ridiculous as I am, I’m alive.

Whatever…

I only know that I would rather feel this loss and know love, know friendship, than to set my heart aside and truly never live.

I can feel.

“Well that’ll never work!”

The world is going to tell you how you can’t, how you won’t, how it’s impossible.  It will point to all your inadequacies, all God’s inadequacies.  They will make sure you remember prior failures, dreams that died, hopes crushed.  And, in case you haven’t given up yet, they’ll make you aware how little you can change, how dumb the idea is and how tired you already are.

That’s the world.

It always makes me laugh to hear people talk about God and His rules.  The picture is painted of a God that looks down sternly on His children, waiting to zap them if they get out of line.  His angry look is intended to keep us from sinning and doing anything stupid.

Anger is usually pretty poor at keeping evil at bay and, can I get real here for a second, He knows us.  Do you think He envisions us never doing something stupid?  Nah!

He is our creator God.  He is creative.  He created imagination, intuition, dexterity, intelligence.  And He put it in our hearts.  He put inside us a warrior’s heart, a couragious heart, and a curious mind.  Those things have to be knocked out of us.  Questions come naturally, not rule following.

He clarifies what won’t work but it’s actually a pretty short list.  It can be summed up in two statements.  “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” And, “love your neighbor as yourself.”  This does not inhibit creativity, it frees it.  It channels it in healthy directions.  It moves it to bring life, not destruction.

My picture of God, at least the one I’m trying to wrap my mind around, is of a God of laughter who looks down at His kids, amazed and enjoying the myriad ways we show His love.  He opens His hands to bless as we move in His Spirit.  He casts down the walls, the hinderances, the enemies that stand in our way.  He miraculously intervenes to show His glory and power.  He enters to make what should be impossible, not only possible but completed, finished, accomplished.

Do you dream?  Do you believe?  Listen to Him.  I hear Him cheering you on!

We Give You

I write because I want to share what Jesus has done for me and through me.

I sing because I can’t seem to stop.

I laugh because God brings so many wonderful, silly, amazing things into my life.

I tithe because I don’t think this stuff is mine.

I practice because I want to get better.

I don’t quit because I know, one day, I’ll get through.

I pray because I know God hears me.

I read because my mind can’t slow down, can’t hear God’s voice.

I wait because Jesus is worth waiting for.

I don’t understand.  I hurt.  I get confused.  I can’t hear, can’t see, can’t believe.  But, God will make things clear.  He will show the reason for why, the purpose behind everything.  And I will trust Him, because He is ALWAYS faithful.