My life is getting kind of weird.
That is not a complaint! I think weird is good. I’m a fan of weird. In fact, I’m really grateful for this weird-good life and I would never want anyone to think I’m unhappy with the path I’ve landed on. I am definitely not complaining (TOTALLY NOT COMPLAINING, GOD!), but there are things that trouble me. There are areas of life I’m having a hard time getting my head around. I’m struggling to reconcile certain aspects of my existence which seem blatantly opposed to each other. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to bring these parts of who I am and what I do together in a way that makes sense, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I just. I don’t even know.
So here are some things…
Last year, I got to travel to all over the place in the name of Justice. Seriously. I was invited all over the world to speak about it, write about it, fight for it, and invest in it. I did my best to see clearly, discern carefully, and, with as much reverence and respect as possible for the victims of injustice, I became a firsthand witness to some of the atrocities that are occurring in our world. Everywhere I went, I did my best to advocate on behalf of the victimized and vulnerable men, women, and children I’ve crossed paths with. My great hope is that every trip I go on will actually matter, that it will really, truly help the people they claim to help… I want to have a stake in making the world a better, safer, freer place for everyone.
Last month, I was in LA on the set of a super cool movie, meeting actors and reading scripts, and eating an incredible meal that seemed to just appear in the desert, as if out of nowhere. The meal brought a foreign chef with a real accent, wearing one of those chef jackets that doubles as Kung-fu attire (super handy for when you’re making gazpacho and suddenly find yourself in a Fists of Fury type situation). I was honestly moved by the story the film crew was building, and I felt honored to be present for a small part of that process. I’ve never been a cheerleader for faith-based films because of their history of sucking ass, but I really do believe this particular film could be a catalyst for good, hard conversations that challenge our theology and stretch our picture of God.
Two weeks ago, I went to Colorado where I was honored to play emcee at a fancy fundraiser for a coalition ofnon-profit organizations entrenched in the battle against slavery and human-trafficking. I wore a pair of wicked heels for like 7 hours straight because I believe in making sacrifices for others, and everybody knows it’s not a sacrifice unless it hurts. *eye roll* The team effort was tremendous and, thankfully, the dinner was a smashing success! I can’t wait to see how it pays off in big ways to help empower rescue and restore lives over the coming year.
Last week, I scored tickets to a screening of The Amazing Spiderman 2 because I’m
a baller a blogger. I walked my super amped nerd-kids past a snaking line of Spider Man enthusiasts, Marvel geeks with neck-beards, a couple of furries, and several dudes with ponytails, to tell a guy at the door,“I’m on the list.” When he escorted us right in, my boys looked at me with a kind of awe and reverence I’ve always demanded from them, but never received. Finally! Their smiles said, “It is my greatest privilege to be this woman’s child!” We were directed to sit in the rows saved for special people, like Kings and Queens and DJ’s, and Movie Reviewers, and Presidents. I sat there in the chilly theater with popcorn and peanut m&m’s in my lap, watching a movie I loved with people I love, and I felt deeply satisfied. It made me happy to see them happy. But the best part was to see two of my boys – the two who wrestle with ideas about God and faith and their own worth – feeling loved and favored, and seeing themselves as special and set-apart, but still part of something much bigger. (What can I say? I love a good metaphor.)
Right now? I’m sitting in bed, still in my pajamas, sipping hot coffee and writing about my weird-good life. It’s 11:42 am. I haven’t eaten breakfast because, when I went downstairs to rummage through the fridge and cupboards, I couldn’t decide what I wanted – too many choices. I declined a friend’s invite to the gym because I needed to get some work done, and in a few minutes when I’m done “working”, I’ll fill out my kids registration packets for the next school year with a huff of irritation at the inconvenience of having to use an actual pen to write actual words, like, with my hand.
This pendulum swings back and forth between awesome and ordinary, purpose and profit, fun and fundraising, selfishness and sacrifice, necessity and luxury, hard and easy, me and family, and on and on and on – sometimes going from one extreme to the other in a matter of seconds.
I cry for the end of slavery on Monday night and paint my toenails on Tuesday morning.
I raise money for non-profits and spend money on a non-fat lattes.
I’m pretty sure I’ve stood up and spoken passionately about social justice while wearing clothes that were made by children in sweat shops. What? Yes.
And I believe I can see the hand of God at work as clearly in the back of a dark theater at the bottom of a bucket of popcorn as I do at the front of the Church or the foot of the Slave.
Back and forth, back and forth. The world keeps rushing by, a blurred streaky mess, filled with offers and opportunities and enticing engagements. From Asia to LA, from the suburbs to the strip clubs, from the blog to the bathroom and back again, I ride the pendulum, dazed and confused. I’m trying so hard to reconcile the gross with the good, that sometimes I forget to look, instead, for the still, unmoving places, smooth spots in the landscape of life where God can be seen clearly. It’s only when I see Him in the chaos and confusion that I find clarity and rest.
Don’t get me wrong, life still doesn’t make sense. Like, at all.
Try as I might, I can’t seem to put it all together in a nice neat package. But maybe that’s because I’ve been trying to make vanity and materialism fit neatly into my life, right next to selflessness and generosity. Maybe I shouldn’t want arrogance smooshed up against humility, or ignorance tucked in with wisdom. Perhaps anger wasn’t supposed to be given a spot with Grace at all.
The opposite ends of a pendulum aren’t meant to come together. They never were.
So maybe I should stop trying so hard and just…I don’t know… Go with it?
Do you ever look at your life and think, “WHAT IS HAPPENING?!“. … No? Just me? Ok. Carry on, then.