Crap On The Table
Another brilliant Ghetto Monk sighting:
Actually, you, Pete, gave me this picture, probably without realizing it. A few nights ago, you said that when you and Finley struggle with something, with anything, really, that the only thing to do to bridge the distance is to lay your crap on the table and walk through it. Picture that literally for a moment. Sure, this image likely won’t show up on the 2004 Thomas Kincade calendar, but it will show up often in my mental picture box.Wow. I don't care whether anyone thinks I'm a freak for posting Jeremy Huggins snippets so frequently... there's just something about them that resonates with me tremendously. Very, very, deep, poetic, and insightful. I'd sure like to meet this guy some day...
Because when I heard that, I heard covenant; I heard God making a vow with and for Abraham, God laying down two rows of death and stench, and Abraham walking through it. And the beauty of it is that even though it wasn’t God’s crap—in fact, it was Abraham’s, mine, and yours—God himself was the first to walk through our crap; so though you will make one vow tomorrow, your life together will be a continual laying down and walking through, and the only thing that will make it palatable is that God has and will continue to walk before you.
You are not promising only to love in sickness and health and those other things; more importantly, you are promising to take Finley’s hand and follow God through your own crap—it will be dirty for a time, but the day is drawing near when he will finally make you clean, erase the filth and grime, color you with a white that even Crayola couldn’t imagine.
That is your vow, and here is mine. Many of you don’t know this, but Pete and I haven’t always been friends. Before he got engaged, before even I started moving in on his turf and on the girl he had been interested in, Pete didn’t like me very much, which led me to think, naturally, that maybe I didn’t like him. After many months of this mutual unliking, Pete asked me to go eat lunch with him. I wasn’t sure why he would do such a thing, though I imagined that a public scene was in the making.
We went to the Mongolian BBQ on Olive Road, where you get to pick your raw meat out of a lineup and pour oil on it. We sat in a booth, small talked for a few minutes, trying to muster up courage to speak our reasons, and Pete poured his heart out to me, repented, and, thus, named me his friend. And this is what he did.
He considered my heart, he recognized that it hurt more deeply than either of us could put into words, and he did the only thing he could: He decided that he would not hold my sins against me, and that he, whose own heart was drying out from bitterness, would quit holding his own sins against me. He put courage into me, courage I needed to speak words of healing myself, to pour out oils of blessing into others’ parched hearts, and I wished at that moment that I could be more like him.
This is the vow that I have been speaking silently over the years, that I would be more like Pete, specifically in his encouragement.