Sunday Mornings & Silly Grandma’s—-Day #6 out of the 30 day challenge to blog

As I woke up this Sunday morning I could hear my grandma in the kitchen. I could hear her sip her coffee. I could hear her cooking me breakfast, even though I didn’t ask for it. And then she popped her heard around the corner of the kitchen, and looked at me sleeping on the couch, and smiled, and then she said, “Good morning sleepy head. Want some breakfast.” It was only a memory, as my 90 year old grandma passed away april 26 this past year. On her birthday.

I looked at my Grandma as more of a mom than a grandma. Although I gave her shit, and got away with shit because she was my grandma and not a typical parental authority type. But she had something of mine, that my parents didn’t have. She had my respect. A respect earned by faithfulness, humility, kindness, & silliness. Grandma loved Jesus. But even at a young age she stood a part from the normal religious Sunday morning Church-goers. She was spiritually disciplined at the art of not taking herself too seriously. That’s probably where I get it. And it is, I believe, a very spiritual thing. Especially in the evangelical Christian culture, the ability, to have the spiritual insight to see that all that really matters is Jesus, and all the seriousness, and over-spiritualizing, and stuffiness, and judging each other for each others’ shortcomings, and any and all other bullshit…is just that…bullshit. Man, I’m sure glad I’m not a pastor this morning. Because so many pastor’s are getting behind their pulpits, well meaning, but can’t fully share the angst of their heart. The have to pretty it up, clean it up, and make it appropriate for their listeners. Even though it may be wisdom, why do I still find it sad?

But I don’t have to do that. I can say whatever the fuck I want. Although I do agree that wisdom lays in not just the ability to be free in your speech, but also in the ability to hold your tongue. And like scripture talks about. The tongue can be the rutter to a ship, and if you don’t watch it, you could sink it. But I think there’s some out there, that are struggling with passivity, and passing it off as wisdom. Just saying’….It’s really easy to hide under the mask of being super spiritual. I’m a little more reckless. And I recognize that it comes with it’s consequences. I can hurt a little more, ruffle feathers, and (huge sigh) have people think poorly of me, a little more…but I’d rather have people reject me, rather than loose my freedom. As Rich Mullins said, “It’s okay to be lonely, as long as your free.”

And I’m so thankful my buddy encouraged me to write. Because what I’ve found is that there is something inside of me that feels more free than it has in a long time. I’m still David. I still struggle. I still have my same hang ups. I still sin. I still have my mood swings. I still love, and I still hate. But after almost a week of writing, and making it public, to whoever would have the stamina to get through one of my posts…I gotta tell you it’s pretty liberating. Because no matter how you feel about some of the rawness of my writings…whether you cheer it on, or consider it sin…it has been such a wonderful and healing thing for my soul to attempt to murder the people pleasing idol worshiper that often lays dormant in my heart. By being myself, and getting metaphorically naked in my writings. It’s awoken the people pleaser in me…and he’s uncomfortable as hell. And I love it.

So you say no matter what my convictions or theology is on cussing, that it still may be unwise? Well, you may be right. But I’d rather be a fool, and be a little healthier, and free, and brave. My lovely bride said to me…you’ve got to work on your grammar in these writings…and she’s right…but there’s some things I fix from wrong to right…and I change back to wrong…because I go…”Yeah, but that doesn’t sound like me.” I’d rather be me and sound like me. And you go but it’s not correct. And I go…but yeah…that’s something that some person…or group of people decided…I wasn’t in the conversation on where commas should go…how is that fair that some person or group of people hundreds of years ago decided how I should talk…I guess if it was a sin in the eyes of my beautiful savior Jesus, the God/Man that saved my soul…out of love and not legalism I’d want to put my commas in the right place that everyone says I should. So I break the rules. Not the rules of God, but the ones of man…that say my commas should go here and there….and that’s how I am with language. I’m being honest. If tomorrow I found scriptural evidence that I shouldn’t say these specific 7 words. I would stop saying them tomorrow. But Jesus never told me a specific 7 words I can’t say. The only historical evidence of specific words you can’t say, was not said by Jesus, it was said by the stand-up comedian George Carlin. And I’d have to agree with Carlin. Saying there are certain words you can’t say because culture says you can’t, is a joke.

But even though i’m brash, rash, and maybe a little too reckless…please don’t let me fool you…I can put on my people-pleasing mask like the rest of them…and it’s been so freeing, and a little bit scary…because like I said on the first post in this 30 day challenge…I have all types of friends, with all types of faiths, and all types of convictions, and all types of backgrounds…and many read it…even thought don’t click like…and they may not…and that’s where the freedom has been for me. If you can be you, and stand in the wind machine of disapproval, and be brave enough, and perseverant enough to walk forward…than you are, at the very least, alive. So I say, bring on the “unlike” button Facebook. and let me be me, and God protect me, because sticks and stones do still break my bones…and I know words and hate and disapproval can crush me and break my spirit. But nevertheless, make me brave.

My Grandma was brave. Her husband was a monster and did monstrous things. Luckily he died before I got a chance to kick his ass. Lucky for him I should say. She was brave with her family. Whether we agreed with her, or disagreed with her on any subject. She stood up to us, and marked her line in the sand, and didn’t back down. Now this maybe was a little stubborn on her part…and I think Grandma was wrong on way more than one occasion, but there was a beauty to her non-compromising stance because whether she’s right or wrong…she knew who she was, and didn’t apologize. There was only One that could get her to change, and that was Jesus. She loved Jesus. But even with him at times, and more times than maybe I want to admit, she wouldn’t change..even in the hands of Jesus. I think sometimes the pain, hurt, and shit piles up too deep. And people just get stuck. And it’s not because God is incapable to remove the pile, but because were unwilling to have faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed. For example. I love Lucy, my daughter, but she’s still not walking…and there’s a part of me…where I’m okay with that…because I don’t want to her to grow up…but if my love for her surpasses my selfishness…and it must or it’s not truly love…than one day I will have to teach her to walk…I will hold out my hands and beg her to walk to me, to take those first few steps. I can’t take those steps for her. She has to…Oh, sure I could go over and physically move her feet for her, and “fake” her walking…but it wouldn’t be real…it wouldn’t be genuine…she must do it for herself…And I kinda think that’s why we have so many unanswered prayers…because we are unwilling to take any steps of faith, and were just sitting around on our ass wondering where God is, and bitching that he hasn’t showed up…but he’s there…holding out his arms reaching to us…and waiting patiently for us to take the steps of faith…and purposely not answering our prayers…because he’s not capable of selfishness…and is love…and as such…if were to have faith at all it has to be genuine…and real…and were on our own to speak…he’s there to catch us when we fall…matter of fact he’s calling to us…to what? A job? A mission? A spouse? …no…he’s calling us to him. To his love, that can free us from anything and everything that lays dormant in our hearts crushing the life out of us, and chaining us against the walls of our own passivity. A reality where we would rather live in falsehood, even if looks religious & pretty, than be free. And why do we ultimately do this? Because we don’t trust He’s there…holding out his arms…we don’t trust, and therefore won’t take the steps of faith…to actually believe he could love us like a wild mad God/man…

Remember the scene from Dead Poets Society where Robin Williams is twirling Ethan Hawke around in a circle making him make up poetry on the spot, not letting him off the hook, in order to help his conquer his fear…and Ethan is describing a metaphor…and he says the phrase…”Like a sweaty toothed madman”…..I always think of God in that scene…I think God is wild, and crazy, and always in pursuit of me. Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel in the New Testament we get a picture of God…and being a visual person…I imagine myself in a field, with taller than tall green grass…and God, “like a sweaty toothed madman” chasing after me…running hard…running with his hands and arms extended…yelling “David come to me…you…who runs from me…you who hides in the shadows of your sin….you , the people pleaser….you the sinner…you the proud…the confused…the frightened…scared…little boy…I’m your Daddy…I love you…so much I sent my only son Jesus to die for your sins…and I raised him to life…to give you life…now take that life…don’t lay dead in fear…but take that life that I freely give…and take the steps of faith to walk…than take more steps of faith, and I’ll like my son turned water into wine…I’ll turn your feeble faith of walking into a courageous pursuit of me…now run my son…run, be free, and come experience my arms, my warmth, my eternal embrace of my never-ending love!”

This is the God that my Grandma always told me about. This is the Jesus that I saw exemplified in her. Not all the parts of her, because she wasn’t fully living out of his love, but also her baggage…but still I experienced it. In her hugs. In her love. In her smiles. In her silliness. I’d see it her her eyes when she’d peak around the corner of the kitchen…and say “Wake up sleepy head…it’s time for Breakfast…” And it took me years to learn how she could still have a smile on her face after all the pain and shit she went through with her husband…and it was because when she laid in her bed…years after that asshole was dead…she too experienced the love and folly of God…peaking around a corner…smiling…lifting out his arms and saying…”come Roanna…come to me…broken…not yet redeemed…come and weap no more….come experience my forgiveness…come let be wipe away your tears…come learn how I was always there…and never left your side…even in the worst nights…come feel the embrace of my never-ending love.”

It’s Sunday morning. And no amount of journaling, or blogging, or writing, can take away from the fact that I just miss my Grandma. I miss her saying…”you know I look at you like my son”…I miss her hugs…and smile…and love. I miss you Grandma…can’t wait to see you, although I hope it’s not very soon, I’d love to be a Grandpa one day, and make my grandkids breakfast, and love on em’ like you loved on me…for in your love Grandma…I learned about the love that goes way beyond flesh…the one that enters into the realm of the eternal…

David Leo Schulz

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~ by David Leo Schultz on October 11, 2015.

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