Posts Tagged ‘fried chicken’

True story: Diana and I were having a ridiculously great evening. We had just enjoyed a great meal at one of the best restaurants on the planet, Babe’s Chicken House, right outside of Dallas. It was a beautiful night and our bellies were filled with country fried goodness, life was very good. As we were walking out of the restaurant and onto the sidewalk, an all-American family was walking into the restaurant: a mom and a dad and their two well-dressed kids. I’m guessing their son was about five or six years old. The little boy looked at me, and then he doubled up his chubby little fist and punched me as hard as he could in the stomach. I must admit, he hit pretty hard for a little kid. It hurt! And I had no idea why this little demon-child I’d never seen before in my life would hit me.
His parents were mortified. My wife was laughing so hard she was about to cry (thanks, Hon). I was doubled over—not because I’m a wimp, but for a five-year-old, the little punk had a killer right hook. I looked up to see the boy glaring at me as if he’d have killed me with his bare hands if his parents would’ve let him.
I still have no clue what I did to provoke this beating. For some reason this kid wanted to pound me.

And yes, I see the twisted irony, I was Bullied by a babe at babe’s.
Bullies bug me.
Bullies come in all different shapes and sizes.
It seems like the Common denominator is insecurity.
They have a need to elevate THEIR place by putting YOU in YOUR place.
They lash out at you because you are different…because you are other.
Or maybe, they lash out at you because you are the same and they don’t like what they see.
Whatever the reason, they bully.
They use whatever means necessary to put you in your place.
As I write this, I’m sitting in the lobby of a middle school.
There is a hand painted poster board about protecting yourself from cyber bullies hanging a few feet from me.
The lobby is busy and I can’t help but listen to the awkward social dance of middle school students and I remember…
I remember that this is the scene of the crime for many of us.
The first place we felt the bitter sting of the playground punch.
I remember Alan, who was a few inches taller than me, and reminded me of that every day by making my life hell.
The punch of the playground.
Sadly, it didn’t stay in the playground.
Bullies never go away, they just get slightly more sophisticated, more sneaky and stronger.
I’ve encountered bullies many times since 7th grade.
In restaurants and workplaces, telemarketing calls and special events.

I’ve come to believe that religious bullies are the worse.
They are terrorists of the heart.
They manipulate and coerce just to get their way.
They impose their own will rather than invite God’s will.
They judge and justify.
They belittle the different…the other.
They pound you in the soul with their expectations.
They are intent on sucking all the liberty out of freedom.
The punch of the pulpit.
If you have experienced the sting, I’m so sorry.
Please know that the religious bullies are wrong.
What they do is all completely contrary to the one they claim to represent.
Jesus didn’t come to bully, he came to BE love.
He didn’t come to put people in their place, he came to invite them into a new place…a place of belonging, not bullying…a place called beloved.
Jesus had a group of religious haters constantly try to bully him.
They lashed out at him because he was more about people than protocol or position. They couldn’t bully him, because he knew who he was, so they killed him.
He refused to be bullied.
He refused to be belittled.
After all he came to BE love.
Lean hard into BE love.
The secret to being bully proof is all about identity and ownership.
Know who and whose you are.
The soul that is beloved refuses to be belittled.
It knows that the ONE who owns you gets to name you.
Don’t be owned by anyONE who didn’t make you!
That narrows it down to the ONE who came to be love.
Don’t let the bullies win.
Let love win.