i spent three hours this morning/afternoon discussing/debating with four other guys in a continuation of an online discussion over a facebook note. it was connected to politics, abortion, scripture, american christianity, emergent church, and things of that sort. it was hopefully in some way helpful. it was utterly exhausting. i think there probably wasn't a lot of change brought about from the whole thing.
i spent two hours the last two nights in the den of satan/aggieville celebrating/carousing for my friend's birthday, having a few drinks, talking with lots of friends, joking, laughing, having a good time. we smoked cigars. maybe there were a few vices, but then again maybe they weren't what that time was about. i lost some sleep but i don't mind at all (even as i'm staying up to write this post and have a very early flight in the morning). i think these nights meant a lot to a few people. and i think in some way for me too.
i spent seven hours last friday night in a trailer park playing risk with a group of guys. we ate pizza and candy and joked around and i dominated the world. twice. i am getting to know a family i never would have met if i didn't get out of a stinking church building (or house) and knock on a few doors. and they are beautiful in a very broken way. before i hang out with them sometimes i feel worn out/attacked, but while i am with them my heart is alive. i think there is a lot of change happening here.
so which of these things is the most "christian"? i'll let you be the judge. and you should also read this, which also speaks to part of the heart behind this post.
i want to talk a bit more about audrey though. audrey is the little girl who lives at the trailer park. she is 5 and the sweetest child you're likely to meet. she has the most giving heart of i think anyone i've ever met. you walk in the door and she has something in her hand ready to give you, even if it's just bubbles because to her that is just as good a gift as anything else. one night she gave away over half of her halloween candy to my roommate tyler. they were sitting at the table and she just kept pulling out more and more and giving it to him. when he tried to say no she would open up the package and hand him the candy right there. and of course, it had been opened so he couldn't just let it go to waste.
the other day when we got there she came up to me and tyler with a single cheez-it in each hand and gave them to us. one cheez-it. i ate it smiling, thinking about how much i love cheez-its but how it could have been a stick of broccoli and i would have loved it. her grandma says that whenever audrey gets any money she just gives it away to a friend or in the offering at church. all of it.
for some reason, and i suspect because of little audrey, i have been in just an absolute giving mood recently. i am just overjoyed to give so much away. it is not a natural gift of mine and it is usually difficult for me. but i was encouraged and challenged by a 5 year-old girl to realize that what is mine is not, and the smile on her face anytime she gives something away is enough to make scrooge take sleeping pills (i.e. no need for the three ghosts, get it? yeah? uh huh?).
audrey has some form of kidney disease, and so her muscles retain a lot of water and she has lots of complications and sickness in her life because of it. this makes her a bigger girl in an odd sort of way, which leads to teasing at school. every so often she gets treatments down in wichita and much is drained from her body--after which i guess she looks completely different. my heart aches for this little girl i barely know. i love her and i am torn up to see her have to endure so much (not to mention all the family stuff), and still live so free and giving and loving and joyful and innocent. i am praying that the power of God would be present sometime soon for healing for audrey. and right now i think there is very little in life that would bring me more joy than to see that happen.
well i better try to get some sleep. hope you all have a great weekend in the cold :). i also hope you didn't miss the second song of the two i posted last, cause it's my favorite right now--in a weird way. you gotta hear all the lyrics. oh and props to zach last night--way to be a man! alright and i'm out. and by out i mean off to florida for the weekend...in a mere 4 hours. family reunion!