Thursday, August 9, 2012

What We Ignored About the Chik-Fil-A...Thing

I had lunch with my mom today, and God love her, she is the wisest, silliest woman I know. We laughed over her story about forgetting a close family friend's name. And caught up on family news. And then of course talked about things that have been important to us in the last couple weeks.

I did not participate in any way with the Chik-Fil-A...thing. I wanted to think and be rational and not jump into a misguided protest. And after talking to Mom, I'm glad I didn't.

I have a lot of GLBT friends. And I love each of them dearly. Their friendship is partly responsible for forming the woman I am today. And I would never dream of hurting them.

So all this controversy over supporting or boycotting a Christian organization has confused me a little, because that's not the point. Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-40)

I didn't see a lot of love going on - of God or of neighbors. And then Mom pointed out another verse that I'm familiar with but had never read the way she did: "[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Mom said, "That doesn't say, 'All you dirty sinners get saved and then I'll fix everything.' It says if MY people who are called by MY name will HUMBLE themSELVES and pray and seek My face and turn from THEIR wicked ways, then I will hear. He's talking to Christians."

And she's right! The church - the body of Christ - we're proud! We're full of our own goodness and our support of ridiculous campaigns. And all around us, the world is groaning with sickness, poverty, and pain.

What makes my heart heavy, though, is this: God still hasn't gotten our attention. We still have not humbled ourselves before Him and begged His forgiveness for our shiny arrogance. And the body of Christ is suffering for it. A sweet young couple's first baby is stillborn. A gentle, loving mother of four girls is dying of cancer. A brave wife is struggling with illness. A new husband is fighting to make a living.

Brothers and sisters, if ever it were time, the time is now. We cannot defy God and defy His Word and expect Him to bless us. The church is as sinful as the world - we struggle to tell them apart. Father! Forgive us!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stripping Down

My small group recently found a post about Melissa Jenna's 40 day makeup fast. They thought it'd be healthy for us to do one, too (I missed the discussion - I'm sure there were many better reasons). And I admit, I thought: Pssh, I only wear eyeliner and mascara. This'll be easy.

It's not.

I didn't realize how insecure I was about blond eyelashes. I feel blind without mascara. It makes me remember playing Helen Keller in 7th grade - foundation, blush, lipstick, eyebrow color, even a little eyeshadow - no mascara. That's how you make a girl look blind. And this morning (even though I know they weren't) I was sure the construction guys next to our apartment were laughing at that funny looking girl. 

I'm not kidding! The thought went through my head, "They can't see my eyes - they're laughing at me."

God help me. What a wretched, pitiful little thought! You made me the way that I am - in Your image! Let me never forget that no matter how I feel about it, my form echoes Your divine one.

So, after my deep-seated insecurities surfaced, I started wondering what else might need to be removed to steer my eyes toward Jesus. I'm pretty sure Facebook and Twitter oughta go. (Hate that, but...until I can get it down to checking 2 times a day or less, something needs to change.) I decided to consciously reduce my portion sizes. (I'm not starving myself - I just eat more than is healthy because I like to eat). And I want to exercise purposefully and regularly.

After a year of marriage and three apartment moves, Dave and I have stripped our "stuff" and "clutter" down to a minimum. Though I'm sure there's more stuff we could strip away. And we're both feeling like it's time to strip spiritually and in our lifestyle.

Here's to stripping! And naked faces. I'm praying for a naked heart, too.