Sometimes life is crunchy, part two.

Posted: November 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

This week, I was in a car wreck.
It was scary. My beloved Scion Xb (basically, a toaster on wheels) got crunched by a Dodge Ram (basically a Dodge that rams).
Well, it looks like my little clown car might be a goner. We found out that it has been assigned to the Total loss department. That’s seems pretty final.
It turns out that it is too old and beat up.
The practical thing is to write it off.
So somebody who doesn’t know my car has decided that it is a total loss.
They are doing their job.
They don’t really care about my car.
They don’t know the Scion stories.
They don’t realize the road trips and ride alongs.
They don’t realize the times that I would crank the music up and sing along at the top of my lungs.
They don’t realize the cool and sketchy places that Diana and me went in that odd shaped vehicle. YES, she was driving when we were together, because my driving makes her physically ill. It’s true.
Our daughter,Delanie, was 11 when we got the Scion. MANY chicken McNuggets were consumed.
Del learned to drive in the Scion.
We’ve had a lot of significant AND silly conversations in that clown car.
I’ve had 3 different beagles who have been my furry little copilots over the years.
A lot of friends have ridden in it.
A lot of life and laughter has happened driving down back roads, side streets and highways.
A lot of stories have happened, but story is almost never reflected in appearance.
I know that the fine people in the total loss department are just doing their job. They are more about statistics than stories, I get that.
But, It made me think…

How many times do we assign ourselves, or other people to our personal total loss department?

How many times do we feel like that is our job?

We make it personal…
We wrestle with guilt or fear, we think we have gone too far and somehow, outran grace.
We think we blew our chance.
We are too old and beat up.
We write ourselves off.

Or, we look at other people and, without hearing their story, we judge and assign them to our total loss department.
We compare, condescend and criticize. We write off others who look or think or dress or believe differently than us.
Anybody who is too old and beat up gets sent to the scrap pile.
I’ve been on both sides of the self-appointed, self-righteous vigilantes. I’m sorry, but I’ve acted like an overzealous bouncer trying to decide who gets in the door. I’ve accosted others with my expectations and “standards” in the name of God. I’ve assigned them to my total loss department. I’ve lived by the letter of the law and ignored the spirit behind it. We have some how managed to make the story of God all about US. We turn it into a rule book or dress code. We turn it into a guide to the appropriate, and we happily enforce the rules. When actually the Bible was meant to be all about God. It is the story of his unrelenting pursuit of His people. It is mysterious and wild and untamed. It sometimes creates more questions than answers. Love is like that.
It is more story than statistic.
When, it comes to the total loss department, I’ve also been the one who is thrown on the scrap pile, because I’m weird. I’ve failed to meet the expectations of others. I’m loud, I’m awkward. I’ve screwed up, I’m not afraid to fail or look a little foolish, it’s the total loss department for me.

The practical thing to do is write off the weird, the wrecked and the washouts, right?
But, here’s the deal…
God is completely unpractical.
He doesn’t make sense and He doesn’t care about practicalities.
He cares about people…ALL people.
He never gives up, it doesn’t matter what you’ve crashed into.
His love can buff you out.
If you are reading this, He will never assign you to the total loss department.
He is the Father on the front porch, waiting expectantly on tippy toes for his kids to come home.
You aren’t too old, beat up or used.
God is a dumpster diver, He digs deep and searches for the throwaways, the outcasts, the screw ups.
There are no lost causes, there is not a scrap pile.
Every life is singularly significant.
That would be good to remember in seasons like this when hostility and hate gets hurled around way too much.

What if we were to act like we work in the total life department?
What if we told stories of hope and lived out crazy dreams?
What if we spent our time helping others live a total life that is full, festive, faithful and free?
I think it’s time to get our motors running.

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