Friday, September 25, 2009
A Nasty on the Narcissist
I want to be straight with visitors to this blog. Numbers are clicking in. Few are commenting. It is a creative release for an aging man. It is a record for friends and family. It is a communication of faith and hope. It is a celebration of verse. It is a recollection of acquaintances of helpful influence. It is a wandering together on the sea shore, picking up and examining beautiful shells of God's creation.
But this Christ follower has made mistakes. The one which I wish to share concerns my family. All loving, fun, generous and supportive.
Back in 1987 Hilary and I were living in Chatham, observing a law practice going down the tubes, conducting a home school for seven year old Lauren, preparing to abandon our little rented house on Queen Street, changing diapers for a new baby boy, feeling misunderstood by family in our religious experience, feeling set aside in the community where talk traveled fast.
There had been arguments with both sets of parents about our religious "fanaticism" and the severe cost of home schooling. 'Had not they done well by us?' Hilary and I decided to shut off all contact and to pray. We saw love and holy intention in this. That perhaps somehow we had become stumbling-blocks. We were wrong. The situation continued for five or six years. My job history in Kitchener-Waterloo was crazy and erratic. Forced into situations requiring skills which before I had never touched as an academic and legal jouster. I remember driving by London, the old home-town and weeping and wondering.
We did not attend my brother Scott's wedding to Kelly, a charming girl whom we had both known through summer camp. We did not attend my great Aunt Mary's funeral. We were not there to comfort my Mom when her beloved cousin Dalton died in California. We blew it!
Then just as abruptly we issued an awkward half-apology and welcomed a re-connection. The first to arrive at our front porch, smiling in sunglasses was brother Scott. I didn't recognize him. How pathetic. But gradually and with much consideration the doors re-opened. They need more re-opening. Sand is going through the time-glass.
Now why am I casting this sad message abroad? Catharsis? Making amends?
Some people out there, new in their Christian experience are encountering difficulties. They are being told to tone it down, and wisely so. They need to hold off drastic measures "for the Lord" and gain size and substance and balance and relevance in their walk of faith. They do not need to "slash and burn" and then to call it a cross which must be born for Jesus. Perhaps they are navel-gazers and self-absorbed in getting fixed up. Perhaps they are proud with a new sense of "giftedness". They need to rub shoulders and share love with all sorts of people. Christ did. And He saw all the ones "come in" as planned.
The Pentecostal and Holiness folk are quick to consider their testimony as crucial and irreplaceable. It isn't. It is just a part of the whole. God's will is being done because He is God.
I love that song by Steve Curtis Chapman entitled "God is God (And I Am Not)". It is one of our video strips here.