Last night I worked down at Fullsteam Brewery for their “Take a Pint Out of Crime” fundraiser to help replace the smoker someone stole a week or so ago. I was happy to help out because they are my neighbors and it is The Friendliest Room in Durham. I want to help make sure they are around for a long time. During the course of the evening, I got a text message from Leon, of Cocoa Cinnamon fame (they are $800 dollars away from $30K on their Kickstarter campaign that winds down at 2:45 EDT on Monday, in case you were wondering), asking if we were still in Waco. I wrote back and told him I was at Fullsteam until eleven; he showed up about 10:30 so we could have a beer together before I went home.
We are in the beginning stages of what I trust will become a friendship because of the resonance I feel with him even though I don’t know many of the stories that brought him to the stool next to me last night, nor does he know many of mine. But we did our best to tell at least a couple of them last night. As we talked about life and faith and coffee and beer and food and community, I said, “We do our best work when we start with what we share in common, with what bonds us to each other. Once there is trust and a relationship, we can talk about differences. We put up with a lot of crap from our friends we would never tolerate from strangers because they are our friends. We have already made the decision to stay.”
“You have that written down somewhere, don’t you?” he asked.
Well, I do now, Leon, I do now.
God didn’t roll away the stone on Easter morning so we could pick it up and throw it at each other. The gravity of faith pulls against the centrifugal force of most of the rest of life: we are called to be together, to include everyone, to love, love, love one another. The world doesn’t need any more self-appointed judges or experts, any more distributors of shame or guilt, any more zealots with clear consciences. We don’t need anymore fundamentalists, whether they are liberal or conservative. What the world needs are people committed to loving one another. The core message of the Resurrection is that Love conquers death. Not morality. Not orthodoxy. Not anything else. Love. Love. Love.
God is Love.
The point of our lives is not to be right or first or richest or more powerful. The point of our lives is to be together. To tell stories. To make memories. To drink beer and coffee and eat together. To feed and clothe one another. To make sure everyone is taken care of.
There you go, Leon – I wrote it down, my friend.
P. S. – Over the next month my blog posting will be intermittent at best because I have to meet a manuscript deadline for a book on Communion that will be published in the fall. I will give more details as the time draws closer and, of course, will be happy to take preorders. Peace . . .