Friday, November 5, 2010

What If?

I struggle with community; much of my posts have been on community and belonging and my angst over how and where I fit in at church and life and in my community. I desire it, but the "doing" part of it is so difficult!

I really am a person who seeks shelter in my home and rarely invite others in.... and I like it that way. I like being "attached" to community on my terms, through the safety of the internet and facebook, or at scheduled times at church. Nice and neat, everything is well defined. I like this.

Yet.... I do want more and I want to obey and reflect Christ and I'm pretty sure He's not content with little replies on Facebook. He's not nice and neat and safe. Was it Bonhoeffer who said, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die?"

As a child I've thought it odd that Mr Beaver said of Aslan in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, ""Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king I tell you."

And I still wrestle with the idea of "safe." I want a safe God, I want a safe religion and I want and crave safety.... but the more I reflect on this, the more I realize that I desire comfort, not safety. Comfort.

This is hard to write because in my church, comfort is a horrible word. It, to me, it is an admission that I don't love or trust Jesus. Not enough. I like to think I'm not interested in comfort, but when I really think about it, I am.

Jesus in not safe. His upside=down kingdom scares me...... and I try to make sense of it in my terms, trying to figure out where the borders and lines are....... when it comes to forgiveness, mercy and love. When it comes to finances. When it comes to sharing life with others. I want safety. I desire comfort. I don't want to invite someone over because I'm afraid. (and if you tasted my cooking you'd be afraid too!) I'd rather be safe with the familiarity of friends and family who know me and accept me.

On facebook, I learned of a friend, someone not of my faith, whose washer and dryer isn't working. I've been in that predicament a few times and its so difficult, especially if you have lots of kids. There are some advantages to going to a laundromat; you can get 10 loads of laundry done in the time it would take me one at home! But I don't like going to a laundromat and I dislike spending the money and sitting there in the cold, hard plastic chairs waiting for the wash to get done and praying that I put it all on the right settings,

I could invite my friend over to wash her clothes in my washer, but..... then the excuses come: I'm busy today. I have my own laundry to do, My laundry room (the garage!) is a mess. I'd have to visit with her for 2 or 4 hours. She'd rather just go to the laundromat than hang out with me........ I could go on and on, but the real reason stems from safety and comfort. It is disruptive to my autonomy to share in that way..... and I live like we should all be autonomous and not lean on each other. When I need something, I fix/do it myself. I don't ask. I don't share. I don't include others.

This is the world I live in and the expected world. I wonder what it would look like in an upside down kingdom? And I wonder if I'm brave enough to go there, no matter what the cost.

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