The way our economy works today, it’s much easier to be a minimalist. I don’t have to hang on to things, because everything is replaceable. There’s no sense in paying for a repairperson, no reason to buy expensive parts, or to store things away for a rainy day. It’s trendy and admirable to be a minimalist. And part of the reason it’s so easy for us all to get on board with this, is because goods are cheap. It’s easier to toss things out, than it is to take the time to repair them.
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Every window on the east side of our parsonage, offers a view of the church steeple. Standing tall, rising to meet the heavens, it intends to remind me God is in heaven, and I am on earth. This understanding that God is “up there” creates a gap between where I stand and where God sits, a space that must be overcome with an exit strategy.
A little over 10 years ago, I was antsy to pack up all of my belongings and move far, far away from Kansas. The busy, exciting city of Chicago was calling my name. I settled in to this new life without a hiccup. I loved everything about the noisy, fast-paced, windy city.
It seems we’re always looking for God to show up in some dramatic way. Our eyes are in search of a burning bush or a parted sea. We love it when things are dramatic, because we want a good story to tell. But the more I listen to people’s stories, the more I’m becoming aware of the subtleties of God.
One morning Jeff got up early and headed to class. We had only been married a few short weeks, and I was already discontent with the once romanticized state of (relative) poverty that is accustomed to newlywed life. I despised that I would walk into our bedroom at night, and my socks would slip and slide on the hardwood floors. There was no way we would ever be able to afford a rug. Or a dresser. Or a nightstand. We had a 15 year old mattress, and a lamp leftover from my college dorm. It sat on the floor next to the bed.
Sometimes at night I wake up in horror, dreaming about the sound of a metronome clicking back and forth, back and forth. My mom was convinced that piano lessons would be the thing that made me an intelligent, cultured and well rounded human being. For that reason, I hated Tuesdays. Every week for five years, I dragged my feet behind me as I walked from the car to Mrs. Binder’s house.
Gloria’s hair reminded me of Goldilocks. She had tight, perfectly golden, set curls. She looked exactly how you might imagine someone named Gloria would look. She was 65-years-old, plump, with rosy red cheeks. She had on white fuzzy slippers, and a pink terrycloth robe.
Do you have a category of Christians you think are wrong?
Maybe Wrong Christian belongs to the opposite political party. Maybe Wrong Christian won’t attend a church where there is female leadership. Maybe Wrong Christian dresses in revealing clothing. Maybe Wrong Christian cares about the environment. Maybe Wrong Christian doesn’t care about the environment. Maybe Wrong Christian doesn’t care about social justice. Maybe Wrong Christian cares about social justice.