Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Waiting for Jude

Outside the Parkwest waiting room window there lies an overcast Knoxville sky. Puddles from last night's rain lie atop the roof surrounding the exposed air ducts. I'm listening to Whiskey Town while watching a little girl play with her stroller as her family waits the outcome of their brother-in-law's heart surgery. I wait for Jude.
I went in to see Bill and Bets, and things were starting to happen. Now only family is allowed beyond the locked doors.

Betsy was one of the first people I ever met at Johnson Bible College when I attended there. She was so funny and made me feel welcomed. Two nights ago Bill and I were playing home run derby with wiffle balls and a bat. That night I slept on their couch for the second time in a week. This was one of many times they have taken me in and given me food, a bed, and access to a warm shower. My favorite times with them are when I have my head down on the table laughing so hard that I start to panic from lack of breath, and Bill has to wipe tears away.
I've sat snug in restaurant booths talking with Bill about theology or books. I've worked in an office with Betsy where we would hoard slushies from the office slushie maker. I've sat with them watching TV, and they make me look at Harley (their pug) every ten minutes, because they love her more than life itself. On numerous occasions Bill has said that he wants to die before Harley, because he wouldn't be able to stand the loss.
I've played shows with Bill, eaten chinese with Betsy, had sushi for the first time with both of them, gone to the movies, to coffeeshops, bookstores, or simply picked up dinner at Wal-mart. They are two of my dearest friends in all the world. They are for me and my dreams, and I feel the same for them.

Everything we have known thus far changes today. I have watched many of my friends making their families this past year. I wrote a song for my brother's wedding, sang in some of my friends' ceremonies, rented more tuxes than I can count, and felt lumps in my throat as my boys' brides walked down the aisle towards them. I've played with old roommates toddlers, and now I am waiting for Jude.
It's all changing, and we enter into the new phase. I'm in the waiting room. I'm waiting for updates and the final outcome. I'm waiting to be an honorary uncle. I'm waiting for my friendships to deepen as their own lives deepen. Bill is going to hold in his arms his new baby boy, and he is going to realize that his whole life has a new meaning. Betsy is going to give birth to a new soul, and hold in her a new kind of love that she has never felt before. And I will be here for them in whatever way I can with my stumbling, awkward words and whatever else I can offer.

We've all come a long way from video games, late night runs to taco bell, procrastinating on papers, laughing in class, and playing homerun derby.
Now I don't just play with my friends. I get to play with Jude.

We are all changing, and its beautiful. My friends, here's to your families. Have fun, and I'm here for you. It hurts to say goodbye to the careless days. Its a joy to say hello to your new lives as spouses and parents.

Hey Jude. Here's to you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Silence of Adam

I just finished reading The Silence of Adam by Larry Crabb. After I finished it, I picked myself up off the floor and wiped the blood from my mouth. I shouted, "Larry! Take it easy, man!" Then I limped off. I've been pissed at Larry all week. 

Gosh... it is SO good. I know the cover screams mid-late 90's, and its by Larry Crabb who isn't in a Nooma or anything. Even so, this book has worked me over. I want to say its changed my life, but I reckon I can't say that too prematurely. I suppose it has simply turned my thinking upside down and caused me to realize that I am at the very beginning of a long, dark journey towards becoming a man. 

I always have people say to me, "You sure do act older than 23." (I actually just turned 24, but no one has said "You sure act older than 24." Maybe, I finally caught up.) However, I have realized that I have been covered by the grand facade. I'm so far from being a MAN, and if you think that its easy to announce that to all of cyberworld, you're wrong. 

Here's the main idea of the book. Crabb writes about Eve being tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. There's this whole conversation with back and forth dialogue. Eve resists, but the cunning serpent strikes into her soul as she gives into her desire to be equal to God. 
Now, when I was 4 I heard this story and male chauvinism already started to fester:

"That shtupid girl took that apple to adam, and and and he was fishiiin' and and she made him think that it was good and shtuff and he ate iiiiit and and and then he wealized that she could see his pwivates." 

But Crabb illuminates the truth of the passage. If you look again, the text says that she turned and offered some to her husband who was with her! Adam new that the fruit would lead to death. The Bible says that God told ADAM not to eat from the tree. If he had been a man, he would've spoken up and chased the stupid snake away (By the way, I think this is why boys still like to kill snakes. We're trying to make up for what we should've done a long time ago. This is also why we go and tell girls the stories afterwards.) Adam should have defended Eve. Since then, men have struggled with the silence of Adam. 

See, God spoke beauty and order into creation. In the beginning He hovered over the waters in a formless and void expanse of nothingness. When he SPOKE there was 1) beauty and 2) order. If men were created in His image, then our primary responsibility is to speak beauty and order into a dark and chaotic world. 

My friends, look... if ya got a wife and/or a kid, please read this book. It's incredible. 

But get ready to feel like Larry Crabb just kicked ya in the pwivates. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To be Man is to Speak Into the Dark

I Use to See What Needed to be Done

Here's Lookin' at You, Kid

The Vision of Men

And the Square Became Market Square

Human Knot

I Will be ok

Monday, August 11, 2008

A New Camera, Waterdeep, Therapy

So, life has been crazy for me. This is my official announcement to cyberspace world that I have resigned from my ministry at the Christian Church of Loudon County. It has been an amazing experience to serve as their full-time youth minister, but the time has come for me to see what I can do with my music. 
Also, I have decided to live with some guys in downtown Knoxville (or...I guess about two miles from downtown technically), and today I went around applying for a new job at restaurants and coffee shops. If ya think about it, say a little prayer for me with getting the job God wants me to get.
It has been amazing for me to see how God has answered so many prayers, and blessed me in so many ways. The church has been so loving, my kids have been supportive, the guys have been great to let me live with them, connections have been made, the website is almost ready and shows are coming up. Specific prayers have been answered. Beautiful. 

However, life has been busy, and I've been tired. Also, there has been a lot of stuff to learn lately, and a few tears  may have dropped. But, I just recently got a new camera, and made a weird video. The video I've posted, is just an experiment. There are some kinda funny/weird stuff, but it has been my therapy over the past few days. I've gone on some walks and listened to some good tunes. Its been a beautiful weekend, and I needed this. I hope you enjoy my therapy sessions. (featuring Heart Attack Time Machine by Waterdeep, and a handful of these pics were taken by some dear friends.