My daughter and I were out and about one day and decided to stop in Chipotle Mexican Grill to get a bite to eat. The line was really long and it was quite loud with a lot of activity. I don’t know why, but I was nervous about the procedure of ordering because I couldn’t remember exactly how to do it. I knew it was something like Subway…tell the first person what you want and then someone else build’s upon it. When it came to my turn to order, I told the young man I wanted a burrito. And then this happened…
Me: I would like a burrito
Young man: Would you like pinto beans or black beans?
Young man: What?
What can I say?? I panicked. I don’t know why. I couldn’t hear what he was saying exactly. I heard, “Do you want black beans?” Which I replied yes because…well…I really like black beans. When he said, “What?” I thought to myself, “Oh no! I did it wrong.” I couldn’t really hear him so I thought maybe he asked me what kind of meat I wanted because you have your choice. Hence me exclaiming, “Chicken!” Well, I can tell you the look on his face was priceless. When I saw that look, I realized I had totally screwed up. So, I just simply said, “Can we start over?” (smile). Once again I was asked what kind of beans I preferred which I promptly replied that I would like black beans. Then he slide my burrito over to the next person who asked me what kind of meat I wanted. It was painful, but I survived getting my order. My daughter and I laughed about it all the way home. She said, “Mom, you really yelled out – CHICKEN!” It is now a running joke with all of my friends. When we have a loss for words, we just simply yell “Chicken!”
It was a really busy time for me and I was a bit frazzled. Have you ever had one of those weeks? Or months? (sigh). When everything is going in every direction, and you have a hard time keeping up. You have so many “balls” in the air and eventually one or all of them come crashing down on you. Instead of exclaiming “chicken” they are yelling “failure”, “worthless”, “stupid”, “not enough.” Those kind of days, weeks, or months are rough. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s really hard to pull myself out of them.
I had one of those weeks last week. I mentioned in my last post some “not so nice” commentary that was out there on the internet. It wasn’t just what the individual person said…it was all of the comments that followed. A lot of people expressed their strong opinions in a very strong, negative way. It was overwhelming…really overwhelming. It hurt my heart. It was discouraging. I couldn’t stop it from occupying my thoughts. (Ok…the song Let It Go just ran through my mind) Ugh.
My first reaction was one of wanting to run away…from the church…from my situation. Honestly, I had just had it. I was done. I didn’t even want to go to church on Sunday. I was trying to get over it, but I had a hard time quieting my mind. I couldn’t get past asking God what He was doing. I’m involved with the LGBT community because of my son…yes, but God has called me to put myself out there (one way is writing this blog). And although the comments weren’t directed to me, they spoke volumes to me. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. As I said before, I felt beat up. I didn’t want to read the Bible and I didn’t want to pray.
So I started my prayers by literally telling God that I didnt’ feel like praying. I told Him that I didn’t even know what to pray, and I sat with that for a few days. I asked Him to soften my heart to those who persecute others without really knowing their story. If I’m called to love, I can’t be selective in my love either. Slowly He began putting the pieces of my heart back together. He reminded me again that not everyone will delve into the reasons for homosexuality like I have because of my family. I realized that I had taken it upon myself to try to change people’s minds about this issue. I can’t do that. It’s too big. But although it is bigger than me, it’s not too big for my God. I’m just a messenger. It’s up to God to do the rest. I didn’t realize how much pressure I was putting on myself and when I read those comments I just felt like a failure. If my journey makes just ONE person realize that this issue isn’t as black and white as we try to make it, then that is success.
Our devotion at staff this week was by Andy Stanley. It was about living in the tension of grace and truth. It helped me to realize that this tension I live in every day will not and should not go away. It’s exactly where I am supposed to be. Jesus was radical and often times his actions didn’t make sense to those who were used to dealing with the law. I want to be like Jesus. Radical in my faith. I don’t want to be a Christian…that’s not what the disciples were considered. They were Jesus followers and I want to be a follower of Jesus.
These were good reminders for me this week:
It’s always good to remember that God is in control. I needed to let go of control, and ask God to help me to not act out of control in my anger. And although I would love to change the world, and hope to make a difference in it, I realize that I need to make the necessary changes in myself to make that difference. I will never have it all figured out. That’s why this life is a journey.
So…who’s up for some radical love…because love matters.