There's an awful lot of Christian crap out there in the world this week, including para-church flip-flopping and corporate chastity belts being supported in the Supreme Court. As much as I enjoy a good, snarky wallow in the comforting mud of self-righteous moral outrage, my better self knows that the only way things get done differently is by, you know, doing them differently. And it's good to remember that Jesus talked a lot about small things like mustard seeds and yeast and pearls - and said some pretty strident things about empire and riches and pharisaical behavior. So, here are some tiny things I see happening right here, right now, that are not completely of the modern-day dystopia that is American Christianity:
A teenager whose life is splitting a bit at the seams wanting to join our congregation because it's "like a place of…safety. No, not safety, but, like…security," and because people there "want to know me."
My friend S., who is fighting a seemingly never-ending battle with the US government with more grace and stamina than I can imagine mustering in an entire lifetime, who spends her days while unable to work volunteering all around town.
The 43 BVS volunteers that I spent last week with, who are spending this year living simply and serving whoever crosses their path in the place where they've been sent.
A pastor inviting other pastors to her birthday party in an attempt to forge connection and fight isolation.
The way a few - nowhere near all, but a few - eyes lit up when I dared to mention my semi-secret master plan to quit the world and live in community.
Tomorrow's monthly potluck dinner and discussion group, where a bunch of people with varying degrees of connection to church hang out, eat, pray, and talk together.
The youth advisors in my Roundtable small group who answered my semi-desperate plea for advice with reassurances that presence & consistency are better than any weird, commercial, ad-filled YOUTH MINISTRY ™ statistically proven youth group strategy.
Also, and always, these guys: