Friday, June 10, 2011

A Post Post

I was asked to be specific with the term, "Post christian." Which I guess is fair, considering my background, and the people who would see my stuff. For other curious among you, sorry for taking so long to get this out.

It is, what I am. A person who, having been raised in the trappings of the church, has a profoundly hard time seeing where the church and God meet. Watching a body of people that, on it's best day, antagonizes a world that lives the way that it thinks is right. On a bad day it turns violently upon itself levying horrible charges against those who, under the same flag, worship the same God, in a different way. Yet I read about a man who dined with his betrayer.

I watch power jockeying, bitter resentment, and outright rejection. People use their faith as a vehicle to gain wealth and world power. Using God to justify violence. And using God to justify indifference. The church creates people too powerful to need God. Who would rather legislate morality, than use the servant love to change lives and hearts.

But I read about a Christ, who gave up being clean, so he could be right. Who did not raise a hand to save his life. Who washed feet. WASHED FEET!!! Seriously, who does that? Who kept the party going, 'cause his mom asked him to. Who said, if you love God, and you love people, the rest will sort itself out.

I do not use the term post christian, to in any way demean those people trying to understand God, and our part in this divine story. As a good friend of mine was fond of saying, “I love me some Jesus.” But very rarely have I gone into a church and thought, “Wow, this must be what God had in mind.” I usually think about how church shouldn't be so early, or how people shouldn't look like they're cringing when they were trying to smile... Or that Jesus wouldn't be here either.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Snap Revival

When we...I mean me...I mean I...When I was young, and whilst dragging my feet on a host of lessons and other studies, I honed a number of skills to razor sharp levels. I could:
Burp on command
Make farting noises with my hand and arm pit
Lock my thumb behind my hand
Cross my eyes
Fold my tongue into a clover like shape
I even mastered artfully raising one eyebrow in the manner of Mr Spock

But the thing for which I was best known? Towel snapping.

I left wealts and scratches for days. I was a champ at summer camp. And even though I weighed a buck twenty on a good day, they always left me alone in gym.

Once at camp, a kid, ignorant of my reputation, would run up to our little cluster, snap us with a towel, and run like the dickens. The first time was free. When he did it again, we said, he might want to spread the love and not test his luck. I surrepitiously tucked my towel between my crossed legs. And, knowing that the lesson was not learned, we pretended to blithely continue our game.

"He's coming," they whispered, and I sprang into action. The startled boy turned, but it was too late, the piper cometh. The snap was epic. I was told that it was audible out the door. I find that hard to believe. I did see him melt before me, clawing at his wounded back. As he pealed his shirt off, I was mortified, and truly proud, he was bleding.

I appologized and got him something for his back (he may have deserved a snap, but that seemed excessive). And we went back to playing cards.

At 26 and counting, however, I've gone the way of good judgement. I can no longer lock my thumb behind my hand, and choose not to cross my eyes. I still raise a wicked eyebrow. But, the one lapsed skill that I actually consider reviving from time to time? You nailed it. Towel snapping.

But, when your gym locker room is primarily full of pensioners, it hardly seems fair...
I mean, they've got years of experience on me.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No...Thank You

If you were to walk past the main desk at my gym, you would likely notice the laser scanning device conspicuously affixed to it, at the most narrow point on the walkway leading to the lockers and workout rooms. You would thus, likely, intuit the intention of the device to monitor member traffic, and identify each passer-by as eligible for entry. If you're not much for intuition you could just read the signs to that effect. And every morning, when I swipe my card, someone behind the desk intones a, usually, cheerful, "Thank you."

Now, I'm a grateful guy. But for whatever reason, it weirds me out when they thank me for that. It just feels like, "Thank you for fulfilling the minimum function for lawful entry." Or, more succinctly, "Thanks for not being a dick." Do they just expect everyone to just charge the lockers one day and not scan their cards one day? I don't get it. I've done nothing that warrants gratitude. Heck, I haven't even done anything that warrants noting. Thank me for holding the door for you. Thank me for picking up that thing you left and running it out to you. Thank me for being awesome. Don't thank me for not sucking. At that point, I feel like there's no bar to lower.

Thanks for reading.