My friend Krueg wrote to me recently, and one of his observations arrested my attention:
“The wheat primarily grown here is ripening. My distaste for industrial agriculture aside, I can’t help but marvel at it.”
That’s a very insightful observation. It reminded me of my own feelings about the institutionalized church, or “Professional Judeoxtianity,” as I think of it. Like industrial agriculture, the institutionalized church today harms the very environment it purports to cherish. It’s enormous and sweeping in its grandeur. Lots of money and ambition. There are organizations and expensive machinery to support its role, and anyone who disagrees with the juggernaut of The Way Things Are is laughed to scorn, then harrassed, then outcast.
But when the outcast walks away with his hoe on his shoulder and quietly tends his little plot of good soil, has the regimented giant won? Who is in the healthier position?
The Grange isn’t what it once was.
We’ll be celebrating the Lord’s Supper this coming Sunday at my little congregation, the congregation which I’ll be leaving soon. One wit has observed that the postmodern observation of this “meal” is more like “The Lord’s Snack” with it’s bite of bread and sip of wine (or worse, sugary grape juice). My own term for the funereal, joyless rite is Lord’oeuvres (pronounced “Lord-ervs“). I claim full original credit for this sarcastic moniker.
I talked tonight with one of the other elders, and he expressed his sadness over my decision. Did I imagine it, or was there also a bit of wistfulness, of envy, in his words?
I love these simple country folk, but we don’t speak the same language. They want to get everyone saved. I want to talk about my Father and what His word really says. They want activities and committees and mission statements. I want prayer and burning, intimate conversations and liberty. They want a program and I want edification. The time for my leaving is at hand, and what shall I say? Whatever it is, I will say it with a Southern accent and they will respond in kind. And that will keep my love for them alive long after we stop “fellowshipping” with the backs of each others’ heads from a padded pew in a female-dominated, brightly-lit “sanctuary.”
Speaking of the South, here’s loveliness for your ears.
And here’s another. (Mrs. MacP and I were there when this was recorded…)
An update on the crows I feed every mid-day in the parking lot at my job…
Dinner Bucket and Dinner Belle have been joined by two smaller crows. I’m assuming they are the DB family’s progeny. They all arrive together with loud “caws” after I put their bread on the pavement, and they fly away together with beaks crammed with food. A dear sister helped me name Dinner Bucket’s mate…would anyone care to name the two little crows? Perhaps a DB continuation? Hmm?
I’m hoping to pretty up this blog in the coming days, perhaps adding a page or two and making it a little more eye-friendly. My problem is lack of knowledge of how WordPress works. I know, I know…they have tutorials. But as the little Jew who pollutes the “Comments” section over at SpiritWaterBlood keeps reminding me, I’m just not that intelligent.
One more musical interlude. I love the poignant line that goes, “My children speak in accents not like mine.”
Some mornings when I walk outside to rouse and feed my hens, I am so overwhelmed with the beauty of the hour that I simply stand and stare for a while. Oh, for years and years of endless mornings, with the energy to do all the chores and then go looking for more. Oh, for soft chairs and piles of books and gallons of tea and no hornets or mosquitos. Oh, for quiet breezes and fast-moving clouds and eyes that never grow grainy and grandchildren that never sass and dogs that never bite the barn cat and chickens that never grow weary and die. Oh, for a quiet season to meditate and an energetic season to process the meditation and a focused month to write, write, write against the carpal tunnel and the arthritis and the stiff shoulders and the knowledge that I still have so far to go in my soul’s reach for Abba, even though He has loved me and held me since before the hour when the galaxies were new and hot. Oh, for mothers that evade Alzheimer’s and “friends” that never grow cold and stop writing. Oh, for grace and peace. The grace I have. The peace I will have one day. Until then, I have enough, and I am a contented man.
Grace and peace to you tonight, my friends.