Friday, August 31, 2007


Screaming. Children. Constantly.

Sometimes, there are children outside as late as one or two in the morning [yes, I've heard them because sometimes I'm up that late too] and more often than not I wonder where their parents are and why they're letting them out like that.

That's one of the funny things about our neighborhood though - children are out all the time. When I leave for work in the morning [sometimes before 6:30am], they're there. When I get home, they're there. When I go to sleep, they're there.

This morning Laura and I went to grab a bagel for breakfast at South Street Philly Bagels and I noticed that there was a lot of what appeared to be grease on my truck. If you're at all familiar with our travails, you'll understand that a lot of our life lately revolves around "my truck." I made mention that I bet that kids were playing around it [which has been one of my hypotheses for quite some time]. In our sickened state [as both of us seem to have come down with a cold], we shrugged it off.

Tonight's not too different - except for the fact that we've been holed up in bed for the past 4 hours - both of us coughing, both of us sneezing, both of us miserable.

But not the children - they're laughing, screaming, running...

And hiding in my truck...

Since both of us have been laying down since about four [watching The Breakfast Club on Netflix's watch instantly and then a variety of videos on YouTube], I decided to check the mail - because yes, the mailman sometimes runs after four. I turned on the outside light, unlocked the door, and peered out. I looked at my truck [it's parked in front of our home] and two small eyes peered back at me.


I laughed. I asked if he was hiding. He nodded and slowly climbed out of the truck. I unlocked our mailbox - nothing - and went back inside. Laura and I laughed when I told her about seeing this small boy hiding out in the back of my truck.

I opened the door, saw him hiding down the street, and made eye contact. I told him that it was fine for him to hide there.

Sometimes it annoys me when I hear the kids running around. Sometimes it makes me question the mindset that goes behind their parenting. But in the innocence of a game of hide and go seek, it makes me wish I could run around with them [and not sit here feeling like my head is going to explode].

It reminds me that at some point the laughter of children points to a joy and a peace that's not here yet. Not for us anyways.

For them, now, it's pretty much all fun and games.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A writing glut...

Lately, a lot of my time has been spent on the road.

It's kind of sad how the exploratory nature of traveling can leave your mind wandering in so many directions and yet how the actual act of traveling can leave you totally sapped of inspiration. The difference, I suppose, is between the vacation and the commute.

The vacation brings me something new - new sights, smells, experiences. I write a new history in paths worn by millions before me though the paths seem fresh because it's the first time I have, upon them, trodden. The vacation gives me a reason to explore - to find something to eat, or drink, or wear.

It gives me a reason to be more introspective in relation to how much bigger the world is than self.

The commute leads me down a different sort of beaten path - the path I've beaten down. It leaves me on cold, heartless, and unforgiving interstate roads behind a train of a thousand different cars all driving in the same directions as I: work or home.

Too, maybe the vacation is in some ways representative of a bit of heaven...without the work that is. Most of our time vacating our homes is spent within an industry called hospitality. We're greeted warmly by people who are seemingly thankful for our stays, for our plays, for our eating, drinking, and merry making. They love us because they love our business, but they play out their act of love well - and in that it's no heaven at all...just an act.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Picking up the pieces...

Sometimes I forget.

I forget that that the life of perfection has been broken irrevocably.

I forget that the church is composed of those sharp blood letting shards.

In a way, this is an apology re: the post I left about a month ago referencing the church in Huntsville. I spoke out of anger and without grace. Where is Christ in that?

I had a response, of which I never responded [it was a private one from a friend in the not so distant past] - to that response I would simply say that we cannot hope to expect the Church of God to be perfect, or even near perfect, for when we do we really have no hope in Christ.

You dig?

It's the same mantra that expects self-perfection, right? If we were able to make ourselves better or whole then Christ, in fact, died for nothing and God becomes a sort of sadist. The argument is by far simplified, but sometimes that's what we need.

Part of this response comes from the fact that my truck has been keyed...again. I don't inspect the other vehicles on my street, but I'm pretty sure that no one else is having the same problem [there's a gold Caddy that is flawless usually parked right behind me].

All I can do is sigh again.

Today was different though, La looked like she was going to cry. The intent of the perp really seems to get to her.

But here's the deal [and I said this, in the fashion as usual with me - sin grace or mercy]. We expect sinful men and women to treat us with the dignity that was never granted to Christ, right?

So the whole keying deal [hopefully, I'm not giving up too much of Jason's promised blog] really causes me to think more about the nature of man, the nature of God, and how closely I cling to material wealth.

We don't need the truck.

And every time someone keys it, I think "jeez, that's going to bring down the value of the vehicle," [which will be summarily posted on soon]. It causes me to think about how little grace I show to my own wife. It causes me to think about how I expect too much from everyone and still yet all the while proclaim "Grace alone."

Of course, there are always a myriad of thoughts swimming fervently through my head, most never blooming to fruition here or anywhere.

And so, who picks up the pieces?

Sometimes, I wonder if Christ really wants this mess to be cleaned up. I look at the crime in my city, I look at the inaction in my neighborhood, I look at these broken lives and I wonder why. I don't think the answer will be easy, maybe not even palatable.

Which begs the next question; how do I repent from my domestication of God?