Dear Fellow Sojourner,
Hi! I sit next to you at church on Saturday nights and I think we may have even had a few bible studies together. Oh yes, and we let our kids chase each other at that last church sponsored fun-night. I hope you don’t mind me taking some liberties here – but I just wanted you to know something.
I see you.
I see you because you remind me of me.
I hide from my chaos too, and would rather we congregate out in public than in my house right now. If you were to come in through my garage door (don’t mind the remnants of mag-chloride and muddy snow on the steps) you’d probably crunch your way past left over playground pebbles and side-walk salt. Please try not to trip on the pile of used clothing waiting their turn in the laundry room. If you look really close you’ll notice the bleach wipe stripes from our latest attempt at potty training. Keep going please. My kitchen shows definite signs of use, because you see, I really am tired of caked on spaghetti sauce and scattered bread crumbs, I’ve decided to ignore it this week. My counter tops are multicolored and that works to my advantage – it hides the forgotten blueberries, dehydrated fruit loops and slopped peanut butter.
Oh, don’t sit there – I haven’t yet wiped the spilled milk from three days ago, the dog got most of it… but ya’ never know. And I’d be happy to serve you up a plate of … ummm… toast… that is all I have since I haven’t had an official trip to the grocery store in two weeks. All food is served on paper plates because the growing tower of dishes in the sink is now our unofficial experiment in physics.
Watch your toes as you venture to the living room; the battle for organization was lost last Christmas when the new toys moved in. And go ahead – cuddle with my clean clothes pile, they may be wrinkly but they smell like Bounce. I may just list our dressers on Craig’s List seeing as how we never use them.
I still have Christmas decorations stacked in the Dining room and the shelves in the office have gained an inch in height with the new layers of dust. Please don’t ask to use the restroom… it’s our other science experiment.
Let’s be honest thought, it’s not really about the house. It’s about my soul. My house reflects my attitude. I wrestle with false words and God’s truth like a never-ending cycle of laundry, dishes pile just like faith nuggets I have yet to metabolize, and honestly, I have a hard time letting go of selfish lusts just like my toddler does when it comes to toys. I’m working on that de-cluttering.
But beyond all that Christianese of God’s-never-ending-process-of- sanctification, beyond our attempts at being clean and presentable, even beyond the reality of our own mess, I want you to know that I like you. And I want to be in fellowship with you.
The purpose of my letter today is a proposition. I propose we leave the mess behind for a few hours. Let’s meet at a restaurant or unexpected fun establishment – away from the process of making our messes holy.
Let’s laugh. I mean really laugh. Let’s break bread, toast to the crazy parts of life and simply laugh. I won’t judge you and we don’t have to talk about the messy, the deep, the hard or the hurtful if you don’t want to. I just want you to know that I like you and I see you.
I see you because you remind me of me. Laughing with you makes it ok to laugh with me. Celebrating life with you makes it ok to celebrate my messy life too. And I know we agreed to laugh… but I want you to know that crying with you makes it ok to cry about my hurtful parts too.
Having these kinds of moments with you makes coming home to my mess less overwhelming. Tomorrow after we’re back in our own not – so – perfect homes I’ll have more energy to face the mess and maybe even make some progress along that journey of sanctification. This is what fellowship is all about. It’s not about the mess you or I are in… but it is about you and me.
You know my number.