I love Eliane Excoffier's story found in Canada's MacLean's Magazine (Feb. 12, 2007) of Montreal chef Martin Picard and his unique restaurant called Au Pied de Cochon. It reminds me of what we encourage here at our church. He breaks the molds. He is considered a wild man, an enfant terrible, passionate, profane and an outspoken critic of all that is processed and banal. Even though this article is about food and restaurants, I read it as though it applied to religion and churches. I was laughing as I read it, reading parts of it out loud to Lisa this morning over coffee. It's stories like these that are affirming (yes, I still, unfortunately, love affirmation). The affirmation of freedom. This was, by far, my favorite paragraph:
Bourdain (a chef and author) calls Au Pied de Cochon "review-proof." "Either you get it or you don't," he says. "It's the antithesis of the hot restaurant.
couldn't care less if the beautiful people come. He holds all of the superfluous nonsense of restaurants in contempt. He respects craftsmanship but he's not a guy who stacks food. Knowingly or unconsciously he's raising a middle finger to all of that. He'll present a pig's head in maple syrup with gold flake on the nose. "It's a real screw-you."
I love this because I feel this is how I am and our church is perceived by many. I realize that most people don't "get" us. We are often called an "anomoly" or an "enigma". People in our church are non-conformist and slightly rebellious in spirit. I'm glad they don't score on the normal scales of assessment of what a church is. They don't hold normal measurements of success in high esteem. They too hold all the superfluous nonsense of churches and religion in contempt. They too raise the middle finger to all propriety and decorum. We all wrestle with our own insecurity. My best friends know this. You know this if you read my blog enough. In fact, I'm using this blog to help me become more of an outspoken critic of all that is processed and banal. So, we're going to keep going. For now anyway.
You can find the entire article online HERE. The pic is of Picard.