Friday, July 06, 2012

Maybe It's Time for a Real Post

You know, as fun as the Sunday Stealing memes are, they aren’t really the point of this blog although you would never know that from recent posts.

The point of this blog is that it is a place for me to say the unacceptable, to spout off about things that just can’t be said to real life people in my real life world, except for those I have met through this blog and know all the bad stuff about me and tolerate me anyway.

(BTW, if I were a professional writer, or editor, I would feel the need to go back and fix up the plethora of run on sentences here and in other posts. Fortunately, I’m an accountant and don’t care.)

Today’s rant will be a stream of consciousness mind-emptying vomitus (I don’t know if that’s a real word or not, but I like it, and I think you know what I’m getting at here so just go with it) of words that are cluttering my mind and keeping me from concentrating on other things, like work. No continuity is guaranteed from one paragraph to the next, or indeed, even one sentence to the next. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.

I realize more and more that I am the very definition of a bleeding heart liberal. I want to take care of everybody. I want to be a friend to the friendless. I want others to want to help out as much as I want to. I want to make others care about our fellow humans and our world in general. I want peace and a baseline of adequacy for everyone. What I don’t get is why everyone doesn’t feel that way. Why does it have to be a dog eat dog world? As Rodney King (may his soul rest in peace) said, “Can’t we all just get along?” Do we always have to view someone as the enemy? What the hell, people?!?? It seems as though somehow society got stuck in the junior high phase and never matured beyond that. I watch how N and his friends and schoolmates treat each other, and it’s brutal. Junior high kids are cruel! But you know what? So are adults! They’ve just honed their techniques more so that they do it a little more glibly, a bit smoother and not so rough around the edges.

Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? You remember that one, don’t you? No, not “He who has the gold makes the rules,” though that’s the one we seem to be following. The one that says, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Or go with Jesus’ words, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Who did Jesus mean when he used the term “neighbor”? He meant everyone, not just the guys you’re friends with. He meant your drunk neighbor, your Muslim neighbor, your gay neighbor, your loud neighbor, your rude neighbor, your African American neighbor, your lazy neighbor, your poor neighbor, your rich neighbor, your well dressed neighbor, your white neighbor, your Christian neighbor, your sober neighbor, your quiet neighbor, your polite neighbor, your Buddhist neighbor, your straight neighbor, your nosy neighbor, your scary neighbor, your kind neighbor. I could go on and on because he meant EVERYBODY. Without exception. WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

Not that I get it right all the time. None of us do. I get pissed off at people. I get selfish with my stuff at times. I forget that every single one of us is God’s child, loved by God, and that we should treat all of God’s children the way God would want us to treat them. It is hard sometimes to love every child of God. Yet that is what God calls us to do. “What about the people who do bad things?” you may ask. “How can I love someone who causes harm?” To that I say that loving someone does not mean that you allow people to run amok or get away with evil. You must establish boundaries so that you do not allow others to take advantage of you, but that doesn’t mean you should do it without love and concern for the common good and for all people, including the one with whom you are in conflict.

Is this sounding a bit like a sermon? I didn’t start out to write a sermon here, and yet these are the thoughts on my mind lately. These are the ideas that are rambling about in my brain. And there is one term that keeps coming back to me – radical hospitality. It is this theme of radical hospitality that continually comes back to me. God is speaking to me. There is something I need to do in terms of radical hospitality. I don’t know just what it is yet, but God is leading me there in God’s time rather than mine. The seed is planted, and now it is up to me to nurture it and help it grow. I feel led to delve deeper into my study of the Bible, to read the Gospels more closely, to focus on Jesus’ acts of radical hospitality. His washing the disciples’ feet comes to mind, being servant rather than leader.

Where am I headed? Where will all this lead? I haven’t a clue, but I trust in God. If I hold my heart open to God’s leading I know I will have the direction made clear to me. One thing that has become clear as I have written this is that I need to focus my energies on me, to make myself a role model for others rather than trying to change others.

One other thought before I let go here. Church needs to be a place where we not only worship but our base for service to our community. Any church that is not serving the greater community in which it exists is not a glory to God no matter how many attend worship or how beautiful their sanctuary or how perfectly executed their worship services are. The church must exist outside the four walls of the church building, or it really doesn’t exist at all.

You may be wondering why any of the above is not the kind of thing I can talk about with real people in my real life.  After all, it isn't about affairs or unspoken bitchiness or anything that would necessarily get me into trouble.  It is, though, the kind of thing I feel uncomfortable talking about.  Religion, spirituality, church.  These things are difficult to talk about in real life for me because I don't feel people really understand me.  The conservative fundamentalist types find my ideas bizarrely radical.  The liberals find my Biblical interpretations too literal.  I am caught in a strange little netherworld.  Yet I know that God gets me.  God and I are good with each other.  I am quite confident in that, and that is what is truly important.

1 comment:

Jeni Angel said...

all of which is to say: this is why you should go to seminary to open your own church.

I am nowhere near religious, but if I was-you are the type of person who would be speaking my language. I think you would find you are not alone in your netherworld.