a bit of an emotional blog
They call it Palm Sunday. Today we are in ZARAUTZ Spain. And today I feel God celebrating my story and your story as the world turns to HIS story. (history)
Y’all know the Palm Sunday story. Just another day to some. To others, myself included it is a big day.
“I’d gladly lose me to find you…” (WHO song lyrics) and these lyrics expressly tell how I feel about Christ. Can I get out of the way enough? Can I give enough? Can I see? Can I believe enough for both you and me?
I’ve tried. Sold our house. Lived in a minivan on the on the road. Sold that beautiful motorcycle that made me feel fast and relevant. Sold guitars, possessions and gave most the rest away.
Am I Vet Church. Last December I told Kate, “I cannot go into another December like this right here right now. I have to be on a team. Some team somewhere. With some folks that value, appreciate and celebrate who "I" am.” Kate said, “You can’t stop.” I’m sure she said some other stuff too. (Here it is April . I’m on the Camino de Santiago and still digesting "You Can't Quit")
I know she is right. I can’t stop because I love Vet Church. I love Christ. I love our Tribe. (Veterans, their X’s, Families, Families Of Origin, Friends etc— we are a Tribe- just look at the epistemology of the word) I love US!
Yet I need more structure. I need homeostasis. If you are reading this you are part of the growth and goodness happening in my life. I feel God changing the stasis of the current Vet Church. I feel God working. Is this the Blues Bothers? No, we are truly on a “Mission From God!”
And just what is Vet Church about? In one word it is about “LIFE.” Spiritual? Absolutely. Physical? You bet it is. Founded upon the principle that “If Christ dies for everyone then everyone has value.”
But everyone doesn’t believe in Christ. Does not matter one bit what anyone else believes. We believe in Christ and thus we believe that ALL PEOPLE have value. But they think we’re stupid, off a wee bit and foolish. It’s ok. We are gonna LOVE everyone anyway. We are gonna believe in everyone's life, even if they don’t.
We (Vet Church) use the methodology of Art to convey “LIFE” to the world. We are bringing “LIFE” through music, painting, pottery, presence and the spoken word. Sure, we talk about Scripture. Sure, we make up many differing theological backgrounds. The common prayer is the Lord’s Prayer. We don’t care about a lot of stuff, like what is socially acceptable.
We always care about honesty and openness. We always care about integrity. We always care about authenticity. We care.
We are broken and whole. We are down and God has helped us out. We know something about those big words like Suicide, PTSD, Cancer, Arthritis, Moral Injury, Heartache, Pain, Loss, Anger, Hate, Hurt and Death. We have been redeemed and yet we stumble. We have been forgiven and restored.
Moral Injury doesn’t scare or confuse us. We have lived with it a long, long time. Still we chose to push on past surviving and reach for the stuff of thriving.
We know about Holy Ghost restoration. We ain’t shy. We are bold. Vulgar but not Blasphemous. Affordable but not cheap.
We believe in Quality. We believe that God has died for us all and through His death granting us worth beyond money or temporary recognition. It is the eternal worth in which we believe, hope and yearn.
We don’t say, “It will be alright.” We say, “I know something about that.” Because we do know and we have learned to be vulnerable.
We have learned about appropriate self- disclosures (I still struggle with it). We have leaned about listening and mirroring. We have learned about reflection.
We have learned through shared experiences. We have learned through Therapist (monthly, weekly and in some cases daily). We have leaned though books. We hijack wisdom whenever we can find it. We have the courage to push our minds to grow. We refuse to become NORMAL, not because we are better than normal. It is just that we realize EVERYONE is better than normal.
We are not tempted by the latest and greatest glitter and glitch. We yearn for eternal wealth. The glitterotie (people who glitter) do not impress us. We are impress by work ethic, mud, sweat and tears.
And all of us have shed tears. All of us will shed tears. All of us will ache, sometimes alone and sometimes together but we will ache. And we ain’t afraid of aching.
We will ache with deep emotion. Because that is how “LIFE” aches. We in Vet Church know something about “LIFE.” We know it ain’t the fullness of “LIFE” unless you are moved to go the extra mile, to give it all away, and to begin again.
We believe in the ontological value of your “LIFE” and our “LIFE.” We believe in the ontological value of “LIFE” together. This is “LIFE” and we will live it.
Keep living. Keep hoping. Keep believing.
Wave a palm. Wave an olive branch (a bunch of those in the service this morning) Turn up the music. Dance! Wave your hands to heaven.
We have so much to wave to heaven about. The pain of Good Friday and tomorrows journey is coming. But don’t forget the Resurrection. All the pain and frustration wants you and me (us) to forget the resurrection. We won’t give pain and frustration that final satisfaction.
One foot in front of the other. Yep, the burden is heavy. Sure, ya need to take some stuff out of that pack. These clothes absolutely do not fit just fine. Just focus on the step that is right in front of you. We go far because we go together and we have learned that we do not know.
We have placed our hope in The One who does know. We anchor our faith in The All Knowing. We steps in, pushes the door, I steps out.
The journey ensues