Tuesday, December 30, 2008

body of Christ

I don’t think I’ve ever posted a Christmas card in the mail. I’ve handed out a few home made cards in the past – if a Christmas-type poem comes to me around this time of year - I’ve dutifully shared it.

But this year I picked up on the idea of sending out a digital card. I had to type in every name on my blogging list (hopefully they won’t sell the list?). But then it was just a click of a button and off they went.

I just added my own little message at the end. You saw a black cat trying to get a decoration off the tree – unsuccessfully until it falls off and bonks him on the head. I added “I always get it….eventually.”

For me this was a little drama of my attempts to get the Christmas spirit. I try and try and work away at it…and it eventually always seems to come to me when I’m not looking. Kind of smacks me upside the back of me ‘ed.

So, in the process of going through my email address book (first time since….???) I found some names of people who were in the address book but weren’t on my “weekly reminder” bloggers list. This is a bit of a dilemma for me. Only one person has actually asked to go on that list. Everyone else got picked by me. The criteria was….I know you and I have your email address. Don’t you feel special?

The beauty of these web cards is that I can go to a page on the website and see who picks up the card and who doesn’t. So, if you don’t pick up my card – I’m dropping you from the bloggers list – and therefore i won’t have to worry about whether or not I’m adding to your spam. If you picked up the card – you’ve shown at least a minimal interest so you’ll keep getting my emails.

This week I’ve been thinking about trying to sum up a year. (I have to write an annual report sometime soon.) One thing that’s been new and has made a difference in my life is - blogging.

Blogging has been a true joy for me. I’ve learned that trying to find the “balance” that is right for me involves telling my story. Frederich Beuchner (my favourite journal-ist or blogger in today’s terms) says that telling secrets is a way for the particular to connect with the universal. Which means, that in some way maybe my story is your story – or at least it’s a way for you to look at your own story and compare - saying “yeah” or “nah” or “hmmm?”.

Taking pause to consider your own story is worth doing. Of course that’s what art is for. Why are humans the only creatures that seem interested in creating and/or critiquing stuff? (beyond the daily digestive process that is)

I also like the attention. Or at least I like the idea of getting attention without the cost of seeming like I want the attention (not cool ). I suppose that anyone who stands up to preach must have at least enough self-love or ego or naivete to believe that what they have to say is worth listening to.

On the other hand, I recently explained my theory of professional Ministry to someone who was sure that they couldn’t’ be “the” Minister.
I said “No one really wants to be “the” Minister. If they do – then they’re probably the kind of person who shouldn’t be doing professional Ministry.”

Blogging isn’t Ministry. Blogging is a way of putting my self out there without the pulpit or robes or title or expectations that I am doing God’s work. I am just doing my thing. As the “alleycat” I am an outsider. I scrounge around not sidewalks but back alleys and pick through the garbage. I’m just sharing the tidbits I come up with. Can you see me sitting on a fence? Hear me moaning at the moon?

I like the anonymity of it. I like it when people give me feedback (no – I love it.) But mostly I like the non-committal thing about it. I’m not taking up anybody’s time who doesn’t choose to spend their time (except for the two seconds it takes to hit the delete button). I’m not wasting ink or paper or postage. I’m only wasting my own time putting these words together.

“You could be out there helping people.”
“You could be spending time with your family.”
“You could be gardening or exercising or learning to play an instrument or playing a sport - something socially productive.”

Somehow though, sitting here alone, scribbling, is what gives me pleasure and contentment. Having you here in the room with me wouldn’t be the same. I am talking to you – but in a way that I probably wouldn’t if you were here.

Would I talk to God the way I do if GOD was sitting here? NO WAY! I’d be too busy trying to make a favourable impression. (because God is so easily fooled right?)

There’s something about an invisible audience that helps me to get down to the business of my soul – the stuff below the surface – the questions that won’t go away no matter how much distraction I create on the surface.

So, in some way, writing to you is a lot like talking to Jesus. Whether you know it or not – for me – you are the body of Christ.

Now pick up that damn Christmas card!


Rumsby Family said...

Nice piece of writing. Thanks for straightening out the "getting it" thing. My head was somewhere else.

I love your blog. It makes me wana grab my little two step ladder, run up to Fenlon Falls, and give you a big hug.

Thanks for being a friend,

brenda said...

Allan I tried leaving a post just now and it didn't accept and was lost. I'll try to recapture.

I love your honesty in these last two pieces. It's very grounding in the midst of cultural madness. Just back from NL where I spent the whole week being with my Aunt in the sudden loss of her best friend, who was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer on December 21 and died on December 26. It was no Christmas or a REAL Christmas - I prefer the latter.

We have turned down numerous invitations and have been accused of being "no fun." Exactly. How cool.

Thanks for your honesty about your inner life - it's refreshing and real. Good luck with the annual report.

corrie said...

cHi Allan,

I love reading your blogs, I find them interesting, honest and I can relate to them, because I can see myself in some of your comments and that makes me feel better. Sometimes I think my thoughts are foolish and seeing some of those similar thoughts on your blog makes me think again, it is so good for the soul and also our self image to share. I respect your courage to put things down without beating around the bush, keep writing, I do answer and sometimes I do make some fun of you also, I am sure you know when, I've done it only once so far, I do take you seriously.

You will always be my friend.