Friday, April 6, 2012

The Church of the Back Porch

Today is Good Friday.  So, in honor of this day of sacred remembrance, I woke up at about 9:30...peed…didn’t brush my teeth…refilled my water bottle…and attended the Church of the Back Porch.  As usual, all the other church members had gotten out of bed way before me…and they were already steeped in worship.  And, man…do they know how to worship.  The big oak dances, the wrens studiously build their nest, the squirrels chatter, the black birds splash in the baptistery and the cardinals and blue jays just sit there in their Sunday best looking gorgeous.  Today was a particularly lovely service.  I watched a baby bird hopping in the grass…trying to take flight.  I saw a male finch put on quite a show for his lady.  And two graceful doves cooed a lovely duet for me.  It really was quite a spectacular display of God’s glory…and I got to witness it all without wearing a bra.  Hallelujah. 
As I sat and watched Nature worship the God of the Universe simply by doing what it was created to do…I knew that was the best way to honor my Savior today. 
Ok, so I admit it…my ardor for blogging has begun to wear off in recent weeks.  I’m plagued with the constant lie that I really don’t have much to offer you.  There are smarter, savvier, funnier, and much wiser theologians clogging up the literary pipeline…what does a ragamuffin girl from Missouri have to offer the world? 
True story.  So, the other day I was driving to work…digging around in my mind for my next blog entry.  After several minutes of absolute brain fart, I finally asked the Father what He’d like me to talk about.  No joke…two seconds later, I saw a big semi-truck with the words “Feed My Children” on the side of it.  Ok!  Ok!  This must be what He wants me to talk about…He wants me to feed His children.  Wait.  Crap.  I have no idea what that means.  What should I feed them?  And who are “them?”  I spent most of the day trying to figure out this deep semi-truck inspired spiritual riddle.  On my home, I’m pondering how I’m going to use this blog to feed people…when all the sudden, a huge Daylight Donut semi-truck passes me.  Ok, wait.  You want me to feed your children with donuts?  Ok, ok…I can do this.  I can figure this out.  Ummm…donuts have holes.  That must be it!  He wants me to talk about the God-shaped donut hole in your heart!  Seriously, Alissa?  Seriously.  Welcome to my brain. 
But as I watched the birds this morning…honoring the Creator just by doing their bird thing…I knew what He wanted me to tell you.  I knew what He wanted you to hear on this Good Friday.  Wait for it…
Throughout the years, I have recognized Good Friday in many different ways.  As a child, it symbolized the countdown to the annual Owsley Family Easter Egg hunt…and as a teenager, it meant another day off of school (who are we kidding…I’m still stoked about both of those things).  But as an adult, I somehow adopted the opinion that Good Friday should be honored with reverent sobriety.  A day to mourn the death of my Savior by wearing my shame and wretchedness like metaphorical sackcloth and ashes.  I often read all the passages in the Gospels about His crucifixion…just to put myself back in my place.  Who am I that He should die for me? 
But the older I’ve gotten…the more intimately acquainted I’ve gotten with my own humanity.  And the more I have battled the flesh...the more I’ve realized the radical message of Grace.  And the more I understand that message of Grace…the less I’m inclined to mourn on Good Friday.  Because…man oh man…I know how the story ends.
Every time I imagine Jesus suffering on the cross…I tear up (Heh.  Apparently, even typing that sentence makes me tear up).  But, here’s the thing…the tears aren’t from shame.  And, to be honest, they really aren’t even out of gratitude.  Although, I am grateful.  No…I cry because for a moment…I can almost taste it.  The sweet…profound…all-consuming…radical…love of my Savior. 
That’s what He wants you to know today, by the way.  As I was sitting in the Church of the Back Porch…witnessing His glory displayed…I heard Him say (very clearly), “Alissa, today I want you to honor me by doing what you were created to do.  I want you to write.  And I want you to tell them how much I love them.” 
Oh dang, here come the tears again. 
So, here I am on this Good Friday.  Still sitting in the Church of the Back Porch.  No bra.  Greasy hair.  Just a ragamuffin girl wearing pj’s that are 3 sizes too big at 1:30 in the afternoon.  I’m not as glorious as a red cardinal…or as melodious as a Dove.  I’m not as deep as Donald Miller.  And I’ll never be as profound as C.S. Lewis.  But…holy donuts… I just got a personal message from Abba!
He wants you to know that He loves you…oh…how He loves you. 
So, today…I’m going to honor that love by doing what I was created to do.  Yes, I’ll write.  But I’ll also call a good friend…who I miss dearly (Hi, Babecky).   And then later, I’m going to go kiss a brand new baby who made his triumphant arrival yesterday.  And then…I’m going to go celebrate the birth of a little girl who made her triumphant arrival seven years ago.  I’ll probably kiss her too.  And her siblings.  I’m sure there will be some laughing too.  Because I was created to laugh.  I was created for a bunch of other stuff too…and I’m going to try to do some of that today.  Oh yes, today is a good, good Friday.
And we are loved. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out...only you called me Babecky. That's not my name.


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