Joan Rivers used to introduce her rambling rants with the question: “Can we talk here?”
So, allow me just a moment to “talk.”
Every once in a while I get some critical e-mail.
I’ve had readers write who seemed very concerned about my eternal destiny. Sometimes, they cast doubt on my Christianity, and other times accused me of watering down Christianity.
How could anyone expect me to define my faith, my journey, my God in one simple answer? I mean, in most religious traditions, God takes entire books to reveal his or her character.
The crazy thing is that since we’ve learned to condense those religious books into pocket sizes, some of us have the mistaken impression that God can also fit into our pockets. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think faith is supposed to fit in anyone’s pocket.
Matter of fact, I don’t even think God likes pockets. I don’t think God likes much of anything that’s small, such as mini-bikes or doughnut holes. I think God is full size.
You know: supper size. Super-size doesn’t fit in pockets. If you’ve every tried to cram a triple burger in your pocket, you’d know that. I guess that’s why I like to wear those jeans advertised as having more room. The pockets are bigger.
Still, I think God doesn’t like pockets, no matter what the size. I think God prefers houses where he makes himself at home and stretches out on the leather recliner.
I think faith is about inviting God into our house; into your house and my house. It’s about giving God the room to become who God needs to be in the different houses in which He lives.
Why do folks sometimes expect God to act the same way in every “house”? I mean, I don’t act the same way at my friends’ house as I do at my aunt’s house. When I go to my friend’s house, we sit on the couch and drink soda.
And next month when I go to my favorite aunt’s ranch outside of Waco, we’ll talk about books and children and cattle. Mostly we’ll talk about the heat and the previous night’s rain. We’ll go to bed right after the weather report and get up in the morning and eat Czechoslovakian breakfast rolls.
The point is, there’s a different Norris who visits my aunt’s house than the Norris who burps soda at my friend’s house. Nevertheless, both urge me to make myself at home. That means they like who I am and they enjoy seeing more of that person. The feeling is mutual.
God enjoys seeing all of us the way we are. I think that’s the reason God doesn’t get bored.
All that said, I know it can be a nice feeling to enter a house of worship and find a bunch of folks who believe mostly how you believe. I do it every Sunday. I walk in and know that many of the people believe as I do and we take Communion to celebrate our common beliefs.
But at the end of the day, you and I both have to re-enter a world where God has chosen many houses to live and the celebrations of life we make together must outweigh our many differences.