November 1st is a good day.
There is always candy left over from the night before and it kicks off the countdown until my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas tree day, and Christmas. And this year I am spending it in beautiful North Carolina where the leaves are a million different hues of red and amber, college football is on all over the place, and we are gaining an hour of sleep tonight. I mean, come on people, today is a gold mine.
After reading my last blog Ryan commented, "You know, if you ever get committed, I will buy you some really nice pajamas."
"Committed in the nut house. They all run around in pajamas, so I will get you some really nice pajamas."
I died laughing. How cute is that.
(And partly not cute because I know he wouldn't visit me! The pajamas would so be a buy-out!)
Yesterday we had some time off before our late night concert and got to see a movie. This was a challenge for me because I just wanted to take a nap. I knew when I woke up that morning that the movie was on the agenda, so I stood in front of the bathroom mirror for a pep talk.
"You are not an old lady. You are not going to go take a nap today while the boys go to the movies. You are going to GO! And you are going to LIKE it... and if you will please go you can have an Icee and popcorn and maybe some chocolate."
So I went.
We saw the new Clint Eastwood movie, Changeling. I don't think I breathed for two hours. It was so emotionally intense. The lack of justice that you saw, the pride, and the utter hopelessness of this woman who was given no voice left me so angry. As well as the guy next to me who kept sighing, moving closer to the screen, and telling his wife, "I am really angry."
There was a bright light in the movie though.
Heroes of the Faith
A Presbyterian pastor by the name of Gustav Briegleb came along side the woman to do what he had always done; fight corruption and injustice. He fought for those who had no voice, who were being abused in horrific ways; people who knew no grace. This pastor made the movie worth watching. He was so inspiring.
And I was reminded that though historically the church has witnessed some rather unloving and hateful pastors and "believers" who have caused pain, violence, and war; the church has also been blessed with brave lovers of Christ who have fought for the heart of their king.
People like Rev. Briegleb, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and on and on.
Ministers who were not so concerned with making sure their theological beliefs about homosexuality or women or political parties were heard and adhered to; but who fought to make sure that all people were treated as God's children and given the right to life. Pastors who were not so concerned with being trendy, starting coffee bars at their churches (which I admit, I do love, and my church has one), and taking care of their christian church members with more and more programs and social opportunities; but who challenged their members to actively fight for those who slept outside, were killed because of the color of their skin or nationality or sexuality, and for those who would never be fortunate enough to be in a church, much less a church program.
I am not bashing on the church. I love the local church and believe in its potential to change the world. It is God's vessel, his bride. But history has proven that churches, pastors, and leadership can lose their way. Sometimes hurting millions of people in the process. Sometimes focusing on such small agendas and issues while neglecting those things that matter most.
It was so nice to be reminded that throughout history there have also been, and continue to be, people who follow after the heart of God on behalf of the church and humanity. Who, like Jesus, take in the leper, the prostitute, the poor, dirty, broken, and the disenfranchised. Men and women who fight for justice, equality, and peace at the expense of their own lives.
To be sure, theology is important. But it is not the most important thing. And I think these ministers who have battled for God's children have seen past the small things to the bigger picture... the love of God.
I hope God keeps us from being agenda driven and from seeing people as projects, numbers, and converts. But rather uses us to be a voice for the voiceless.
Without the likes of such "heroes of the faith" and heroes of humanity... this world would surely miss the face of Jesus.