He was scheduled to write a blog post for a site called Deeper Church. He’d agreed to be a part of the monthly crew but felt the old man of the group, not old enough to be wise by any stretch, just older. The truth was he was in a strange season. He didn’t give a rat’s ass about christianity’s current state. He used to, but not anymore. It was like he had acquired some strange spiritual erectile dysfunction where on the tissue level he felt he oughta be aroused by such things but alas, the thrill was gone. If he heard one more major voice bitch about the church then trot out their message of how we’ve been missing it all these years he thought he might self-rupture and become a creek or at least a beaver pond. And all the hoopla over the gender wars had just about cracked his enamel. As the husband of a fiercely classic beauty of a wife and the father of two daughters who followed in her footsteps he was verily pleased with the emergence of the female voice; its about damn time. Still, he was hesitant to go full hog for in his opinion not all but much of the current wrangling boiled down to one word – power. And he feared hearing his daughters’ voices in a decade or so: Dad, the driver’s seat is not all its cracked up to be.
Truth be told he felt himself falling deeper into the world. He knew the verse about not being of the world but from what he’d seen, and he paid attention, a lotta church folks were simply on the world, the old ‘justa passing through’ gig even though many would deny that at least three times before the sun rose. The difference in those prepositions seemed to make all the difference, now that he was older. He wanted to be fully in the world, in the whole rapturous revelry that was everything from the brain-scouring short stories of George Saunders, to the bloody attraction of The Walking Dead (Sunday nights on AMC), to feeling rather tingly inside when his wife cooks her poblano chicken chowder, to having to pull the car over one fine day and weep when the radio played How Are Things in Glocca Morra?, to popping the ibuprofen like a hatter ’cause the rotator cuffs ain’t what they used to be, to watching his parents suddenly rapid aging, to waiting for the lilacs to bloom outside the windows in June, to anticipatory grieving for he knows that beagles don’t live forever, to praying to Jesus for his only son as he tries out for lacrosse, to being ever so thankful the family got the corner table once more at that Italian place they all love at Christmastime.
The truth is now he wants to stand before St. Peter, or if he’s lucky St. Joan (of Didion), and hear one or both of them say Well, well, here’s one who loved this present world too much. And hopefully a weeping willow standing stately by the river whose streams make glad the city of God will whisper for any who care to hear: Well done…well done.
So he started chipping away at that post for Deeper Church. He felt older, but that’s okay.