THERE’s a metaphor I worked up some time ago, and I published a short version of it online in honor of my father-in-law when he passed away. Because I am planning to soon invite an ecumenical list of folks over to this blog, I’ve decided to post the metaphor here in an effort to send them my heartfelt welcome.
(Oh, and by the way, if you’ve been following The Spadefoot Project and are wondering where the posts have gone, I’ve deleted them and replaced them with a running pdf file to which you can now link from the “Day 0” post. If I get all of my before-school-starts posting done in the next couple of weeks, I’ll mention why I’ve changed my approach to posting The Project.)
SOMETIMES I think that if God asked us to dinner, we’d want to know what we should wear. And while we waited for God to say “Formal,” or “Casual,” God would say, “Cotton. Cotton is good.”
I have long said and am quite convinced that when it comes to our faith in God, faith is a material, a cloth, not a particular style or cut of garment.
Jim was a conservative Christian, and he wouldn’t mind me saying so. In fact, come to think of it, he’d want me to say so. I, on the other hand, am a liberal Christian, and wouldn’t mind Jim saying so. The cut and style of our garments were always different. But, we both were always good old fashioned cotton. When Jim and I got together, we didn’t bother to talk about differences in doctrine. We knew they were there, we respected them, and left them in their place. Instead, we talked of our love for the poor, of our passion for the Jesus Story, and our struggles to be what we believe God wants us to be. Jim and I met and laughed and cried in the Love and Grace of God, and that made us friends in God.
It is my hope and prayer that people like Jim, and relationships like the one I shared with him, can be a witness to all people of faith that in the end, it is the unsurpassable glory of God’s infinite Love which binds us together, and not our frail and questionable human ideas.