Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Telling Lies to My Church: Spit, Breath, and Light

I chose to lie to my local church today. It was a landmark moment... but not because of the intentional sin. I signed up for a "Life Group." I've detested the idea of small groups for over a decade. Artificial little gatherings of goody-goodies all trying to out goody-goody each other until someone pops and tells truth, and then it gets all gushy-gushy as everyone airs the dirty laundry that they should really just go and wash!

And oh, not just any "Life Group" no, that wouldn't be punitive enough for me... I signed up for a singles "Life Group." And that leads me to the lie. They asked my age category. They did it by decades at the mid-point... and so the bracket that I fall into... age 45-55. Are you kidding me? Nope, not gonna accidentally fall in love with some 55 year old granny. Shallow? Sure. For sure. I'll own it.

And so I checked that I was aged 35-45. Only a lie by two years! What a stellar way to began my path to be closer to God and closer to others... first step is a deceit! Well, I have no good theology here. But, whatever...

This is not a post meant to make anyone feel good about themselves. I've done that and done it well. This is just one of those "real" sort of things that I write from time to time. I've always written raw and authentic.

So tonight the windows are open and the temperature is dropping. Taylor Swift's last two emo, self-flagellating, depressive, COVID-19 produced albums about sadness and trees or whatever is playing in the background because I secretly love them, and a storm is rolling across the horizon. The cool wind, flashes of light, and growling thunder are absolutely amazing.

Indiana is a beautiful state. This blog has absolutely no purpose. I just wanted to write.

Storms... I've observed them all around the globe. Freaking universal. The same smell before they arrive, the same feeling on my skin, the same familiar peace and awe. It doesn't matter if I'm trying to outrun them in a crappy sailboat in the Caribbean, huddled under a concrete shelter on top of a volcano, sitting under my childhood porch with my father, or racing along the Great Wall of China... it is the same damn storm that has followed me my entire life.

And I suppose there is somehow deep truth there. Deep truth that juxtaposes the taint of my church-given lie. This constant balance of the holy with the human. Life is this immense equilibrium that represents all that I am... light and dirt.

Light spoken by God-breath.

Dirt mixed with God-spit.

Yes, that defines me. Both the sinner and the saint. The stuff of God, light, breath, and spit.

I chose to lie to my local church today. It was a landmark moment.


  1. I want to read your book. Recently I was reminded of a study I pulled during a night of "choose your small group" with table cards that defined each group by age or theme. Some folks just stood and stared because they didn't fit any group, so I took the card and crossed out the descriptor and wrote "everyone invited!" It was the best group ever! I suggest that the system forced your hand. And if you want to visit a 67-year-old old friend, I'll buy you dinner. Lol

  2. With Bear on the back porch. Or trying to out run a storm in Dad’s blue boat on Long Lake. Every time I smell the rain that’s where it takes me. I appreciate your authenticity. You’ve always have been and always will be brother