Rick and Monique

Friday, January 16, 2009

All Men

Well, what can I say?  Here I am on the other side of something.  The last two or so weeks were filled with every kind of thing it seems. We celebrated Monique's birthday in style, beginning with a birthday card. From there we enjoyed a couple's massage, she had a great time with Anne-Michelle doing a pedicure, then enjoyed her favorite dessert at her favorite place, The Cheesecake Factory, and ended with a night of games (her nearly favorite activity) with friends. It was a great day and it was one of many points where I understood how great she is, how honorable her character, how fruitful her life. She leads by example.

The latest excitement began Wednesday morning when I received a call from Anne Michelle..."Rick, I fell and hurt my ankle bad, can you pick me up and take me to the doctor?" That call began a three hour run to her school to the Doctor, to Monique's work then to our house where she has been tended to since. She has an ankle fracture and sprain. Painful. I kind of understand what Monique has to go through now when I get stubborn enough to try and move without my crutches or whatever...   A-M's a stubborn one she is, but I can hold my own and am working hard to keep her honest! I've been where she is so many times now--and I've probably been way too stubborn for half of those. So I understand life on the opposite side of wise. She'll appreciate me in the end. I'm glad someone ELSE is the invalid for once.  Monique and I have enjoyed taking care of her.  However, she wants to help, she wants to work, she wants to feel productive. But she's being wise (for the most part) and has been a delightful addition to the house, although I think she's looking forward to getting to her own house. Friend Julie P. came to visit Wednesday night to visit Anne Michelle and to help her pass the time a bit. She's another example proving that "the Body" works to heal itself just as A-M's body is working to heal itself.  The swarm of cards Julie brought with her allowed us to play a fun game of "Hand and Foot" together.  We split into teams, A-M and Monique and Julie and I.  
Julie and I got shellacked.  But we had fun, A-M's attention was diverted, and we'll live to play another day.  

Hopefully we've led by example. Her trust in her doctor and her friends bears fruit for sure.

Anyway, that story leads me to a couple other interesting notes about my last two weeks--well my Dog, Dutchie, learned how to ice-skate in the back-yard--interesting--I think I'm going to take her new skill on the road! Do you think I could strap her to the motorcycle? 

I digress--where in the heck did that come from anyway?  It just happens to be a funny story that really has nothing to do with the theme of the blog--but it's funny!  

Dutchie the Ice-Queen certainly attracts interest, but my focus are three conversations.


One with a man named Peter, who above all seems to hate being placed into a box where one can only think a few specific things about God and where questions of God are irreverent and irresponsible. I have to admit, I don't appreciate life in "boxes" either. We've had a friendly yet somewhat complicated conversation about our views, and while I disagree with some of his positions and presuppositions, the conversation has been upbeat and enjoyable. Even though we disagree, I learned by example that by example all men will know, all men will see, all men will hear Christ in action. I hope others can tell by the conversation how it is to have a conversation without beating someone to a pulp. He wants the ability to ask questions, to find God outside of "Christianese" and to revel in the Mystery. I want him to be comfortable with truth and absolutes, to tend gracefully to the body and to know that no matter how hard we try, everything seems to lead back to the God of the bible. He's formulated thoughts and questions I had yet to think and ask.  I'm grateful.  Important, though, is the example set into the conversation. Hopefully to others we bear good fruit.  Explore Peter's blog at  http://www.emergingchristian.com/ (click the link) and possibly find your own conversation.


The second happened on one cold, slippery day when my bride turned the Saturn around the corner down the block from our house and slid hard into the curb. The car was normal before, somewhat discombobulated after. Instead of anger we decided that the "accidents happen" track was easier and more graceful. It worked. It probably wasn't great for the car (we couldn't get it fixed until Monday) but we had to take the interstate to and from downtown Saturday night. We could've again decided on disappointment, anger and frustrated conversation. I could've lectured her on snow driving techniques and the like. Instead we had some fun. You know what your voice sounds like when you stand in front of a fan? Sounds like you've got a rattle in your throat? Well, our car shimmied voice-altering hard and we had some good laughs on that one...it made music lots more fun to sing for some reason! Hopefully we bore fruit with each other...lead by example we did...saw Christ in each other we did. The car was re-combobulated the next day (can one re-combobulate something?) and all was well (Thanks to a very timely Christmas Gift).


The third conversation happened this morning. Neal, Joe and I get together every Friday morning. These are two of my favorite people and I'm more than privileged to know them. We talked about "getting it right" this morning for awhile. I'm giving a sermon on Sunday and I told them that I couldn't believe how hard it was sometimes to practice what I preach! Lead by example. By my fruits they shall know me. The other guys gave their own examples and it went on like that. More importantly though, none of us are individualists...at least we're learning not to be. These guys have their careers, lives and their moments let me tell you, but they are connected by the hip to the body of Christ knowing that communal living achieves personal growth more fluently, more efficiently and more abundantly--I'm tellin you I'm watching and learning--others probably are too--live by example.

So, now the song--"All Men Will Know" by Acappella. I learned of the song this morning and absolutely loved the song.  I don't believe in accidents. I've seen too many examples this month where one's example seemed to play out in front of me like a vision. I think I was supposed to reflect on what all men should see in me and what I enjoy seeing in you. Sometimes I expect better of myself, sometimes I expect better of you but at all times we live life together. Today I'm grateful for the opportunity. All men will know, all men will find, all men will see that I am His.

Just listen to the song.


Michelle said...

Wow... amen to what God is showing you through the people around you and from just... living life. There's something to be learned in everything, every situation of life, isn't there?

But I must say, what prompted me to comment was this:
I LOVE Hand & Foot. I'm actually going to play a round of it tonight with some of my family. Is there a better card game around? I think not!

God bless you,

Joh said...

We talk, we read, we share.
Thanks for this. The song is emotion laden, but poignant and reflects the total assurance a Christian has. This life is merely preparation for eternity, let's prepare properly...

Annette B. said...

Absolutely love that song!