Facing forward with coffee

shambhala at sunriseWe talk about new years being like new days…do-overs.

As December 31 rounds the corner, we look back at our accumulated shiny successes and rubbish piled in the corner…under that old moth-eaten blanket. We make promises to ourselves and our pals. We are resolute and merry.

Until reality catches back up with us and we remember that we are dust, foolish, and all-too-human.

That box of cookies looked really good before we vacuumed it into our gullet.

The words we spoke fiercely in anger linger now in a storm’s aftermath reminding us of our own weaknesses.

It doesn’t take long to realize that dog isn’t going to walk itself and we are just not that into exercise as we know it.

This is one time when – if we are lucky fortunate fools – we discover the power of community; folks who will tag-team towards our goals and away from our poverty of soul. In this magical window of the new year, we discover others who want to drop the leaden weight of impulse and self-delivered slow death. We are not alone in our desire to grow and live a little better. We have opportunity to join forces – join hands – and walk out the weighty challenges together. Happy New Year and all that.

I thought about this last week while my friend, Steve, spoke along the lines of “Is there something you’ve identified you want to work on this year?” He spoke how his heart stirred to rejoin prayer for his family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and the kids bagging groceries at the store. He stood before people who call him “Pastor” and fessed up to an area needing work. He invited us into his real-life imperfect world.

It broke me.

I sat and looked around at the other ragamuffins in the pews – some wearing outfits that cost more than my car – and thought, “Of all places, church should be the safest place for ‘sinners’ and imperfect people who are lonely, abused, grieving, ostracized, and funk-dog foolish.”

You know, people like you and me.

If god is who he said he is (and my jury is still out on this), then his house should be the one welcoming place where the humble, brash, lost, homeless, outbursty, crying, giggling, crabby, unemployed, overworked, selfish, refuge-seeking, reeking, stinking, glamorous, brilliant, talented, broken, hairy, bald, sick, wounded, healing, healers can assemble…with coffee and embrace.

It’s where even Donald Trump should be welcome, I guess, despite the crabby, outbursty, selfish, stinking, brilliant, broken, brash hate he’s been spewing for a campaign crowded with too many churched people.

He and I could fill up the slacker aisle.

Hopefully the folks in the pews- the gay and lesbian, wealthy and poor, happy, miserable, lofty, and loud folks who call that worshipping place “home,” perhaps they’d welcome the two of us – bad hair and all.

And share their coffee.

derring do; not just for breakfast anymore


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