Fishbowl Flawless

Sorry to miss a post last week.  We’re in the middle of a sort of rehaul (overhaul?  Is rehaul a word?) as we figure out what kind of language and model to use in the description of our project.  Surprise, it’s a long slow process.

The past couple of weeks have been wonderful in terms of community members reaching out to us.  One of the women from the church has been coming by regularly in the morning for morning prayer.  This means that instead of rolling out of bed and 7:59 and inching slowly into the living room a la the hunchback of Notre Dame, swaddled in a multitude of blankets, we have to get up at 7:50 so we can at least brush our teeth before company comes.

It’s funny to me that I used to worry about what I wore to church meetings.  I probably attempted to look “professional” because I was still smarting from getting an evaluation in a previous internship that told me I “dressed inappropriately” (jeans and tshirts are totally fine to wear to church, right?).

Let me tell you, when someone comes to your house for prayer and 8:00 in the morning, the most “professional” thing you can do is wear something with a hood to bed the night before so you can cover your hair in the morning.

And now community members have taken to just popping in.  One gentlemen stopped by at night in the middle of dinner.  We saw him pull into the driveway and looked at each other, taking a small moment to decide if our unkempt, pajama-ed selves were appropriate for company.

They weren’t, but company came anyway.

This is one of the things I love and hate the most about what we’re doing.  We really do have that “fishbowl” thing going on.  Which means my congregants can see me in galoshes and pajamas in the morning, running out to the garden to pick a green pepper for the lunch I’m packing, and they see our vegetables die in our garden, they see when we forget to mow the lawn, and they see when I can’t get my car up the gravel cliff that serves as our driveway.

But they also see when we sit on the porch and read together.  They see when we play music together outside.  They see when Lindsay is out nurturing our garden, they see when Lauren is painting on the deck.  This whole “flawlessly put together” thing isn’t an option for us and that takes some of the pressure off.  It opens up a space to just try to be humans living together.  It can be uncomfortable, but it’s also freeing.

Here there is no “community out there and us in here.”  There can’t be if we want to do this thing the way I think it should be done, the way the gospel models for us.  And, really, what a huge blessing to have people care enough about you and the ministry you’re doing to just pop in to share stories, coupon clippings, lemonade, prayers, worries, memories, etc.  What an incredible privilege.  And if I have to do most of those things in sweatpants and tshirts, well, so be it.

Lindsey L.

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