Tag Archives: Picture frame

from the heart of my bottom


A mess is made whenever people get together.

Always.

And I’m amazed how others, but mostly myself, still pretend that any time people get together it will not be a mess, among all the other beautiful and stunning things that it always is as well, of course.

But beyond that mess, ever present and reliable, is something deeper and a little more true. Beyond the inevitable mess made when people get together is a promise that people stay together, in one way or another, in the mess of it all. And sometimes staying together means staying physically housed together. Sometimes it means continuing to work together.

And sometimes it means taking the pieces of each other that, as much as we thought or intended or assumed would do otherwise, still stick to us and move into new worlds and new places and new possibilities with those sticky pieces of where we come from and what we are made of.

It’s bound to us in the same way our family name is bound to us and the heritage of our story and trial and DNA are bound to us. Like it or leave it, this is where we have come from, and this is who we are.

This morning, I had the chance to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the church I was raised in. And while time has passed and circumstances have moved faster than passing time, I was struck by the celebration of the organist who has played at that church for the last fifty years. He was playing the organ for the church when my parents met, when they were married, when I was born, when I chose to commit to the faith, when I graduated, and when it was time for me to move on.

His service is marked by a long-time faithfulness to the ins and outs of the messiness of people and groups of people just as much as his long-time faithfulness to the celebration of all that is good and true in a congregation. And today, as he marched up the platform stairs with his cane to receive a gift of appreciation for his fifty-year service, I was caught emotionally off guard. His walk up the stairs reminded me of the value of the mess, and the occasional times of not-messiness, that happen when people get together, and what it can mean to see things through.

But moreso, it reminded me of the goodness of looking back, half a century later, and seeing that the work continues, and the call continues, and the kingdom still comes. Mess and no mess. God works through his people toward kingdom come on earth as in heaven.

So to Bobby, from the heart of my bottom as he would say, thanks for your longtime service, and for the reminder that the world goes not well, but the kingdom comes.

djordan
Pine Tree

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i dusted the picture frame

I dusted the picture frame that sits on my bathroom counter. I think it has been in the same space four or five years.

I would be lying if I said I have dusted it in the last four or five months. I’m sorry, Mom.

But today I dusted that joker. I cleaned, as in scrubbed, that obnoxious tile in the space between the toilet and the wall. I swiffered the heck out of the space between the bottom of the bed in the guest bedrooom and the floor. I found books, the dog’s collars, and chargers to phones that I’ve long stuffed into the drawers that I have no idea what actually hold.

But for some reason, it was the picture frame in today’s cleaning that stood out to me.

I’ve got a buddy coming in from out of town for the week, and so I found my Sunday evening, usually wrapped up in preparing for work, also cleaning the spaces that have long ago moved off the last-minute-cleaning to-do list.

I picked up the picture frame, long abandoned as jobs and times schedules have shifted, and froze for a moment while wiping the dust off the image.

The last two weeks have been unusually weighed heavily with late-night meetings and early-morning conversations, catch-up schedules and bedtime questions about the worthwhileness of the work itself.

And tonight, in dusting off of photos that sit and are looked at daily on the bathroom counter, I remembered, all over again, of how I am changed, and privileged, by the work.

All is worth it. All is unearned. All is prized.

And all is worth a space in the middle of the daily routine, even the bathroom counter space of the daily routine, as a reminder that the world goes not well, but the kingdom comes.

Thanks to the boys in the picture, David and Kevin, for the voice of the gospel that they continue to bear, and to a friend visiting for the week who forces me to clean the tiles and dust the picture and remember.

djordan
Pine Tree

 

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