Saturday, September 29, 2018

kiddos and call


I'm still working my way through my list of "profound shit about zeke," the little list I made on my phone in the first week of Zeke's life.  I don't anticipate finishing anytime soon, but this blog has been many things and this seems like a reasonably good thing for it to keep being.

In those first few days of Zeke's life, I was struck, not only by the ridiculous, I don't know, volume and size and amplitude of my love, but by the familiarity of it.  It was new in its overwhelming waves, but I knew some things that are in the same key as this love.

(Sidebar: I'm not trying to say that this is everybody's experience of parenthood, and I want to work against that bullshit where people say you don't know what real love is like until you become a parent.  That is patently false and listing all the reasons why that's problematic would be a whole other (\[more boring and equally ranty] blog post.  I sure don't care at all whether people become parents.  But I sure do want people to experience a relationship with this kind of love, wherever it finds them.  Your mileage may vary. End sidebar.)

I kept telling people that I was glad to experience a call to ministry before I became a parent.  Because, for me anyway, the project of ministry is one where the Spirit is like: Hey David, come do this thing for which you are certainly not entirely qualified, and certainly not entirely prepared.  You will fail a bunch and that will be part of the point of it.  Most of what you will do is just show up, with the kind of stupid relentlessness that is kind of my jam.  It will be super hard and maybe also joyful in its own weird way.  You could also get an easier job if you would rather do that, but I don't think you would rather do that.  Are you in?"

And I was like, "Yeah."  Or at least most days, when She says that, I say yes.  And some of the moments in those days too.

But I felt out this scary-big love in the late nights in the hospital, in the joy and the exhaustion, and it felt a little familiar.  It felt like the way it felt one way to hate gun violence in Chicago, and it felt a whole other way when it was one of the kids at my church who got shot. It felt like the way my whole experience of weather changed when I was working with people experiencing homelessness: every rain shower was a worry, every freezing wind brought a new layer of prayer to my world.  And yeah, it feels a bit like the way I love this church: all the ridiculous lot of them, holy and broken and weird and wild and problematic and kind and beautiful.  And it felt like the way my church loved me when I was a kiddo: cause it wasn't about what I do, it wasn't anything like caring about my success.  It's another kind of love.

Today I am still in.

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