there is grace waiting.

tonight, i passed by chik-fil a and cried. i didn't want to say anything. i kept my mouth shut for most of the uproar and didn't see my place in a majority of the arguments. i hate confrontation.

but tonight, passing by the lines of cars and the people waiting in lanes to get their chicken, something happened.

they got it all wrong, a Voice whispered in the deep space of my bones. the tears came quickly then - a rush of hurt, my heart folding in on herself and bracing against the pain.

i thought of a close friend, going through a severe loss. i know nothing of her pain, but i know how to ache with her, pray those silent words of please and Jesus - just whispers, really. all day i've relied on the groaning of the Holy Ghost to speak for me because words have fallen still.

i thought of my sister, fresh from a trip to Nigeria with stories of islamic women who want to know more of this Christ who loves them even when and who can calm the hunger caused by ramadan as well as the hunger within.

i thought of our future child, relying on the nutrients from the womb of an unnamed woman who somehow will find the courage to say yes when everything inside, including her heart, screams no.

i thought of the night two friends stayed until the wee hours of the morning, talking faith and doubt and "what about these scars from where my dad hired men to beat me and burn me alive? huh? does God still love me then?"

and i wondered how in the world our priorities got all skewed.

in the bible, Jesus often chastised the most pious with stories of simple faith and extravagant love. and while we are encouraged to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have, i find it hard to believe this rests in a piece of chicken. i'd like to think it has more to do with how we're able to make it in this crazy, broken world without giving in to the hate.

listen. no one was surprised about dan cathy's position. everyone knows we all crave his restaurant at the most inopportune time - sundays, when they're closed, so families can worship together.

and no, i won't be boycotting chicken biscuits.

but there's a point for me where my relationship with others weigh more than greasy fast food. there's something inside that shifts whenever my Facebook blows up with good, Christian people encouraging others to support Christian values by going to the closest Chik-Fil-A and buying some chicken.

i just can't get on board with it. i can't. my heart can't take it, my wallet's too thin, and i'd rather sit on my porch and talk with my neighbor who is sick and gay and loves my dog as much as he loves his great danes.

i think this is what Jesus would do if He showed up on my doorstep. i think He'd sit in the pain of my closest friend, hold the hearts of nigerian women taking steps of faith, and rub His nail-scarred hands over the burnt wounds of our friend who knows the messy middle of wanting so badly to be free but not knowing how to strip away entanglements holding him down. i think He'd do all these things, and not worry about whether or not people thought less of Him because He failed to eat at someone's house or live up to the expectations of the Pharisees.

and so i'll cling to this. i don't know the answers. i'm not a politician so i can't tell you how to feel or act. all i know is tonight, i cried while passing lines of cars waiting for chicken, and i almost didn't tell you.

the words fall hot, though and i can't not share.

today, we got it wrong. we did.

but tomorrow, there is grace waiting, and we can do much better.

Posted on August 1, 2012 and filed under compassion, faith.