Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ANOTHER Dramatic Monologue?

Certain things in life make me uncomfortable. Like those kiosk sales people at the mall who try to curl my hair or make me sample their gold-infused face cream as I walk by. Or when couples argue in front of me. Or when I don't get a joke, but laugh anyway. I even get uncomfortable when others feel uncomfortable.

And this past weekend, I was reminded AGAIN of yet another thing that makes me uncomfortable: dramatic monologues. I would rather have a 10-foot-tall Frankenstein tap me on the shoulder than have to sit through an overly theatrical demonstration or artsy reading of poetry.

You know, like the finger-snapping beat poets from the 60s. Or some kind of underground slam poetry scene where they all migrate together, monologuing about nature:

"Sky reddens behind fir trees. Larks twitter. Sparrows cheep cheep cheep. Cheep."

Or about super intense stuff:

"Put a dagger through my side - straight through my side - as the rain sweeps her out of my arms."

And if I'm close enough to feel their spit on me, though I may appear poised and attentive, inwardly I'm falling to pieces. So it was a good thing we sat in the way far back when "spoken word artist," Hosanna Poetry (that's what she calls herself), stepped onto the stage at church on Sunday.

I quickly looked over at my husband and opened my eyes real big, as if to say, "Is this chick for real?" But he seemed totally cool with it. He even put on his black turtleneck and grabbed his bongo drums. Or might as well have. And right then, I knew I had to be a big girl and just listen.

And listen.

And before I knew it, my listening turned into crying. Well, Molly-type crying. (I didn't have to leave the room or anything.) Turns out Miss Poetry's monologue wasn't about chirping birds or daggers in sides after all, but an amazing love - God's love.

Yes it was a monologue. YES it was dramatic. But she hooked me in with her talk about pride, and how we've "come too far" to let it get the best of us. She also beautifully described how we are God's vessels, challenging us to not be empty vessels. But rather, vessels of hope and mercy that reach "a thirsty world."

I was wowed.

So maybe I should re-think this whole discomfort thing with dramatic monologues and just stick to the usual scary clown or when someone tries talking to me through the bathroom stall. Besides, God wouldn't send his comforter - "I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you." (John 14:18) - if life didn't get a little uncomfy from time to time.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Best I-love-you-er Around!

I have some pretty fantastic I-love-you-ers in my house. People who respond to my daily "I love you" with a clear and easily-heard "I love you, too."

Except...

Except for a certain 15-year-old boy. Sure he says "I love you" back to me. But it's more of a mumbled "uh muh ew" at best. Sometimes it's just "muh ew." Or just "muh."

Doesn't matter. The sincerity is still (kind of) there. And I actually love the way he says it, for it basically sums up his awkward 15-year-old boyness.

And that's not all. I love watching his monster hands open jars for me. And I love it when he asks questions about politics OR asks what's for dinner OR "Is there dessert?" And I love it when I pick him up from football practice, and I spot him from a distance - standing there.

Just standing there. Ahhh. Watching my kids stand - watching them just be - is a little thing I like to do.

Could it be that God also loves it when I just stand there? In all my awkward 41-year-old ladyness?

Because when you peel back 41 years of accomplishments and dutiful layers, starting with the cardigan that covers my sheer blouse that covers my tank (because the shirt company struck a deal with the cardigan and tank top companies - "They'll buy all three if we make the blouses sheer. Suckers!"), you'll find that I do a lot of standing around, too... among other ordinary, ho-hum things.

Things only a parent might find mesmerizing.

And with God being the ultimate parent who loves his kids before the start of anything obedient or charitable, famous or brilliant (Matthew 3:17), he just has to be glued (just gotta!) to all the stuff we've got going on - both our humany things (standing, sleeping, sandwich-making) AND our mighty feats of amazement and wonder.

Psalm 139:2-3 says, "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways."

And I must say, in a world where our value is based upon what we do, it sure is nice to get a clear and easily-heard "I love you" from heaven, even when there's not much "doing" going on. And even when the only thing God gets in return is a mumbled "uh muh ew" - or just "muh."