Today I had the most hilarious conversation over texting in the history of the world. Or at least, the history of my cell phone (and trust me, that baby sees a lot of texts). Matt Baca emced Ahava last night and we ended up exchanging numbers (to assure one another we made it home alright, considering our group didn’t leave Comedy Works until around 1am. Ingrid, Grahm and I did the same thing too.). Matt started off this morning by groaning about getting to work at such a ridiculous hour after we’d all been out so late. I had stumbled into my own house around 2am thanks to navigating construction and some rather seedy areas of Denver that I prefer to avoid in the middle of the night–especially in four inch heels, it’s hard to run in an emergency. And then, I think Matt must have left work around 430, becuase that was when the conversation really picked up.
We talked about everything: the smell in Greeley (“it reminds me of my days in the rodeo), type two diabetes (“my dad remembers his mother greasing the pans with lard”), Christians are closet fans of rap music (“I think JC would have DJed the crap out of that wedding in Canna,” and “have you seen the beatitudes? there is some legit material there for rapping”), socks with crocs (“that is the dark side”) and stick shift driving (“dayum* girl! you got skiiillz if you textin and shiftin!”).
Matt is a comedian, educator, actor and general jack of all trades. He’s 40, and last night he told me he’s just hitting his stride in the last few years: so I’m not to worry. I’ve got time. That came out during a much deeper conversation last night, one of several. We talked at the table, we stood in line for the food, we chilled at the bar in the back talking with Dusty, we even meandered outside on the patio where I almost stole his coat before making it to a center position at the fireplace. It was so cool this juxtaposition of talking about deep things like hearing the voice of God, relationships, and foiled dreams all set up against todays conversation of pure stupidity.
There is so much in the church that has gotten jacked up. Jed said today over lunch that we should be more honest, because the more we air out our dirty laundry, the more we can figure things out and work together in community to be changed.** I think that is so true. We’re hiding. I hide. I sat at my apartment tonight and watched tv and rubbed lotion into my swollen feet and I could feel relief wash over me that I wasn’t seeing Jed, Ingrid and Grahm again tonight–because I’m sometimes afraid that I’ll be just a little too open and then things will fall apart. Last night, Ahava was about the beauty of God working in our lives, changing and molding us and the way our community is sticking together for better or for worse.
Today, Matt reminded me that perhaps one of the reasons we hide is because we take ourselves too seriously. I laughed so hard I cried in the coffee shop today. I almost peed my pants driving home. I was breathless and choking at times because I couldn’t stop laughing. Because you know what? I’m a closet fan of rap music. I like Mike Posner and Nellie and some Enrique, I even like Kesha at times and Katy Perry is always going to remind me of Ryan back in Seattle. Laughter–and the ability to laugh at ourselves–is as important as the willingness to be honest and lay our pride down for the sake of being transformed. Laughing is restorative. And laughing sometimes eases the deafening realization that we are jacked up. And laughter reminds us that even though we’re sort of screwed, we’ve got Jesus and he makes beauty in even the most bizarre places.
[“there’s my little rapper!”]
*dayum=Matt’s attempt to sound black and gangster. Even though he is white and has long hair and is sort of a teddy bear. But good try Matt. Good try. Must be said in high pitched voice like “DAY-um” with a slide down on the ay-um shift…
**of course, change only comes by way of the Holy Spirit and our willingness to cooperate. But sometimes I think that willingness may be inspired from community and encouraged by others who have been or are right there with us. (see previous post “thoughts”)