Have you ever walked into a public bathroom that someone else wrecked?
If you're like me, you're worried about that moment you leave. Personally, I want to come out wearing a t-shirt that says "I Swear It Wasn't Me".
Once at gas station, I tried the bathroom handle and it was locked. I waited about five minutes, which concerned me. After the wait, an elderly gentleman stumbled out, sweaty as though from a war-ridden Vietnamese jungle. "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" started playing over the speakers. I really had to pee. The lights went dim and fog shot out from behind the door. I stepped in and it was worse than I thought. The elderly man's ghost was still hovering in the corner over the toilet saying “OooOOOoooo, I’m the ghost of Mexican food past". I put my back against the door.
I don’t need this. I could go outside and pee on the back wall.
In a moment of great courage, I decided to stay.
I am a Christian and it was smelly when I showed up.
I have to admit that's how I feel. Sometimes I want to say "Hey, I didn't do this crap! It's all wrong. Did anyone actually read what Jesus said? You know that guy we're supposed to be emulating?"
Sometimes I'd like to find a new name tag. Sometimes I don't want to be a "Christian". But I'm choosing to hang out. And, as an insider, let me say I’m sorry for all the things that we Christians have done. I'm sorry on behalf of abusive pastors. I'm sorry for the freaking crusades. I'm sorry that we totally misuse the teachings of Jesus, the eastern mystic. I'm sorry for faulty systems that don't see people or offer real help. I'm extra sorry for Christian music.
I believe in bringing light to dark places.
I believe in turning up the volume when we hear the pain-filled shouts of the marginalized and oppressed.
I believe in learning to love your enemy until they are no longer your enemy.
I believe generosity is important, because it transforms the giver and the receiver.
I believe in reconciliation on a small and large scale, within in yourself, in your family, neighborhood, city, shared earth.
I believe in radical forgiveness.
I understand why some folks would rather go pee on a wall outside. I don't blame you.
I understand why some folks want to go build a new bathroom from scratch, or find a bathroom that smells better. Totally cool.
Just letting you know why I have Febreze and a scented candle.
Jesus, your way is higher than any system we have yet seen, and you can be found in all of them. Praise you for this mystery. Amen.