(This is a repost of a Facebook note.)
Image of God. Imago Dei.
Blue Like Jazz was kind of sitting on my shelf for the last couple of months. I had tried reading it, but had given up, because I was, and still sort of am, mad at God, but I picked it back up this morning. I'm almost done with it.
Lately, I've been skipping church. It's been pissing me off. Everything seems so fake- not just at our church- but the Church, in general. It's all about not watching PG-13 movies and not saying "Jeez" and how homosexuality is wrong, and I'm sick of it.
It was right after P.O.D. and right before RED when I heard what Slipknot's new concert tour was called. All hope is gone. That's what it's called. I'm not sure what I was inspired to when I heard that, but I know I was inspired to something. Probably sadness. Or desperation. I get that feeling sometimes.
Like just acouple of days ago, when I was staring out of the bus window after some exceptionally thought-proviking sentence in the book I was reading (The Hunger Artists) when I saw a man riding a bike through a Liquor Drive Thru.
What has our world come to? We have to have Liquor Drive Thru's now? Of all things?
And when you go to a Drive Thru, you drive. You don't ride your crummy-ass bike through it. That's just my opinion. What happens after you pay the man at the grimmy little window for the beer? Do you sit it in your lap, trying to balance the six-pack as you pedal down S. Grand?
There was an old man driving a Lincoln once upon a time, and he stopped at the mall. I don't know why he stopped at the mall, because certainly he wasn't going to find Dockers at our mall, and I highly doubted the posibility of him mall walking since he could barely totter to the doors. It was a fridgid day, and I was sitting on the bench outside of Sear's because I had heard that being in the cold helps you burn more calories. He walked in the exact middle of the faded yellow lines that were at one time a cross walk, as if walking in the exact center would save him from something terrible. He was wearing a hat. No one wears hats anymore, and baseball caps don't count, unless you're a guy that wears plad shirts and buys beer by the keg. People should wear hats more often. Bonnets, Stensons, Newsboy's caps, the whole deal.
Anyway, he was wearing a hat, and he stopped at the cigarrette receptacle. I watched him, because I do that, unashamedly, because I plan to be a psychologist, and psychologists really should do this, because they'd learn alot. Maybe they do. The best places are at airports, but malls are a close second.
He stared into the ashes and the butts (I could make a bad joke here, but I'm refraining) and pulled his hand out of his pocket.
Maybe he was going to scratch his just-shaved-last-night chin-hairs, but he didn't. He dug his finger into the ashes and dug around for a cigarrette that still had some nicottene left.
And then he put it in his mouth and lit it.
Because I wasn't watching anymore. I was looking at my lap, consentrating on how intricately the white and blue threads had been woven together. The smoke from his cigarrete almost became a tear in my eye, but I try not to cry, because I'm stupid, and I think that crying is a manefistation of weakness. I know that's not the case, in my intelectual, but try to convince my self-conscious of that. It doesn't listen.
What if that was a woman's cigarrette? In my mind's eye, I can see the red lipstick marks, even though not that many people wear red lipstick any more (they really should, it makes you feel bold and confident, even if you're not. Maybe I should wear it more often). He was sucking on something that someone else had sucked on. Someone else's saliva had infiltrated the filter. Maybe the last user had had a nervous habbit of chewing on the filter. . . . .
It was like rape.
And I was watching it.
And I couldn't help it.
And I was furious.
Aren't older people supposed to be mature; the one's us youngsters are supposed to look up to? I guess not. They're too busy riding their bikes through drive thru's to buy cheap booze, and puffing on someone else's death to have any time to speak wise words any more. Those days died off long ago, when people stopped wearing hats in everyday life.
God is mystical and works in the weirdest ways, through oceans and eyes and tears and blood and dirt and eggs and hate and gays and vegeterians.
He sent me beautiful things- to remind me.
He sent me Jamie, the founder of TWLOHA, and his words. If you've never read Jamie's blogs (http://www.myspace.com/jamiewrites), you need to. It's amazing.
He sent me Blue Like Jazz, and the concept of Imago Dei, and finding a church where people use art to worship, and use love to speak. I'm going to live in Portland some day, and go to Imago Dei (http://www.imagodeicommunity.com)- that's a promise. I want to be part of that community.
He sent me Dontrell, who is funny and reminds me of Noodles every time I think about him. I don't know what God sent me through Dontrell, but it's something. It's a surprise, and surprises make me smile, because God loves surprises too- like surprising us with grace. It's awe-stricking. And Dontrell is too, I've heard, when he runs fast. He's like the wind. . . you feel something moving, but you can't see it because as soon as you turn to look, it has passed. God is like that too. Dontrell isn't God, but he reminds me of Him sometimes. Now if Dontrell starts talking about how the poor are blessed and how they're going to inherit something someday, a surprise maybe, I will be worried, because I've always thought God was white. Maybe I was wrong, I'm wrong about alot of things.
He also sent me Erin. Erin is amazing. She's sunshine through the rain, Dairy Queen Waffle Bowl Sundaes, coffee and music. Erin inspires me too. She gave me something special today- a thought, and so much more. Someday, I'm going to meet Erin, and I'm going to shriek so loud that I'm probably going to pee my pants, but that's okay, because she's not the one to judge. She'll probably just laugh and hug me. I hope I don't get pee on her, I always do things like that. God sent me Erin to tell me that I'm doing the right thing today, and that I should be like her. Unexpected, suprising, and love.
Because love is what it should always come down to, right?
See you at Imago Dei.