If Heaven has a ghetto, I think I’ll be living there. There seems to be plenty of evidence of reward and responsibility when we get to Heaven, based upon our service and devotion to Christ here in this life. Yet, whenever I ponder my Christianity I seem to come up so short, that it’s shameful and pitiful view. I see how I try to love and serve Gene (our semi-homeless friend). Yet, he seems to push my buttons sometimes. Then there’s Larry (our “special teen” –changed name) who does the same to me.
Gene left socks for me to launder for him. This isn’t the problem exactly. I offered to him long ago that I’d be willing to wash his clothes for him. Hoping it would be all of his clothes. However, he only brings me socks. And it’s only like once every three months or so. Well, he left some last week for me to clean. I hung them right inside my front door as I was in a hurry that morning. When I got home that afternoon, the girls were going to have a friend come over. We were doing a quick clean up before she arrived when I passed through my front hallway. “What died!” I exclaimed. Then I realized it was Genes socks. I quickly threw the bag out on the front porch and tried to detox my entryway. Still don’t know if the mom of the girl smelled it or not. So, I finally got them laundered and had to run some extra cycles with vinegar to clean out my machine. I decided then, that I was just going to stock up on socks, so whenever he brings them, I’ll just give him new ones. Anyway, I told him they were ready and I’d just stick them in his front door so he wouldn’t have to carry them around town all day. He made sure I would put them inside the storm door so nobody would steal them….blink…blink. Everything in me wanted to say, “Gene, there isn’t a rat in town that would want these babies.” But I refrained.
Then there’s Larry. We were to pick him up for the teen activity Monday. Instead, he did his usual of just showing up at the house right during crunch time. He and Gene, both, were on my front porch wanting coffee and to talk. I, meanwhile still had wet hair, girls who were having wardrobe crisis, and a 4 year old boy who still wasn’t dressed, all with 15 minutes until departure. I looked at Larry and said, “we’ll pick you up soon.” And to Gene, “here’s your coffee, but I can’t chat this morning.” To which he said ok, but continued to tell me what was on his mind.
Poor Larry, we did pick him up, but the teens were ruthless to him that day. It’s a hard thing with people like him. I totally understand how the teens can get frustrated, because he talks incessantly. Big, bold talk that cannot possibly be true sometimes. As much as he can be annoying, 2nd man and I still love him and appreciate the spice he adds to life, but the kids can’t seem to balance that. They unscrewed the cap on the crushed peppers at the pizza place. When he went to get some the whole jar ended up on his pizza. Oh, he was not happy at all…who could blame him? Even I got a little impatient in the car while we were waiting back at the church to go home. He was telling me that he remembered a time when he was 3 years old when their car slipped on an icy bridge into the guardrail. I could work with this story, but he lost me when he spoke of how they all jumped out of the car just in time for the car to fall off the bridge into the icy waters below. Uh huh. It was then I excused myself to get 2nd man hurried along and into the car.
I get so disappointed with the teens and how impatient they are, but I wonder how bad I behave as well. I want to love these guys like the Lord would. Then, I get put in these situations where I wonder how the Lord could? Then I wonder how he could love me too? I read on a friend’s facebook today a quote that I love: