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If you like The NakedJournal, you'll enjoy my weekly newsletter about deconstruction, freedom, and life in general.
These handsome devils are my son, Jesse, on your left, and Murray on your right. Murray turned 19 yesterday. He's legal drinking age now. We love Murray. He comes from a broken home. He's at our house a lot. I'll wake up in the morning and discover Murray sleeping in our spare room. He likes it here. We like him here. We had a huge meal of grilled burgers and my mom's potato salad, which totally rocks. We had some beers too. Then we lit him a cake and gave him presents: McDonalds' certificates, shirts, movie money, and a huge bottle of Colt 45... "strong beer". He laughed and laughed because he likes to drink this once in a while. Then we watched A Mighty Heart. It was a happy evening.
I just don't know how to "do" church anymore. In fact, I don't want to do church anymore! I'm done. I'm not done with my friends, the people I am among, the people who call me their pastor. I'm not done with Jesse's non-church-going friends who call me "pastor dave" as a joke. I'm not done with Casile's friends who talk with us about their love lives. I'm not done with them. I'm so into them it hurts.
But I'm done with doing church. You don't do church. If you're doing church, then you're not doing church. And I'm not trying to be Zen. This isn't a koan. It is fact. You can't do church anymore than you can do family. Can you imagine if I woke up Saturday morning and announced to Lisa and the kids, "Okay, we're going to do family today!" They'd think I'd finally lost it. They'd groan and complain and hate us for forcing them to play a part in a play they have no interest in. But what if I got up Saturday morning, like we sometimes do, and we started the fresh ground coffee, started grilling the bacon and mixing the blueberry pancakes? What if we set it all on the table and just sat down to eat when it was ready? What if we then decided to go to the mall to spend some of the money they'd made that week on cds and clothes? Then we happened to notice that there was a movie playing at the theater, so we took it in. Then we went back home and everyone dispersed and went their own way to maybe reconnect if we're lucky just before we go to bed? What if that happened? We weren't doing family at all. Not even subversively!
Or how about another Saturday where I get up and paint, Lisa gets up and goes for a walk with a friend, the kids sleep in until 2pm, and we might pass each other at supper time, or maybe not. At the end of the day we are what we are. This is what is real.
This is how I see community. We get together and be what we already are without trying or pretending or even planning. Sometimes it is ideal. Sometimes it sucks so hard you die of boredom. I've seen this over and over again. I mean, if Lisa and I planned an ideal Saturday like I mentioned above, it just wouldn't happen, mainly because the kids wouldn't be the least bit interested in fulfilling our plans for them. If it happens, great! If not, whatever! Maybe another time. Maybe not. But we're still a family. I just refuse to "do" it.