That's what I'm suffering from. And Potato Salad Overdose.
Graduation, First Communion, Baby Shower, Birthday, Graduation, Graduation, Ordination Anniversary, Graduation. I have a diminishing fan of cards spread out on the table, and I pore over them - which ones to mail? Which need a check? Little kids like cash better than checks, so where're the new tens and twenties and fifties? Will she like this? Will it fit? Where's the wrapping paper?
I did not win a popularity contest, it's the utter depth and breadth of family and community around me. I talked to a friend who said, with a carefully modulated tinge of regret, that she hadn't been to a family event in over twenty years. She's got the family, she just doesn't go. She's not churched, so she lacks that bond, too.
I think she feels "free" and I certainly feel a little tiny bit trapped right now, endless paper plates and kissing aunts and trying to remember cousins' childrens' names and meeting the old next-door neighbor of my new pew neighbor and listening to inning-by-inning replays of Little League games from a little boy who is keeping me mesmerized not by his fielding prowess, but because he is holding a live ticked-off cicada with beady red eyes by the wings in each hand.
Isn't this what church is like? You are baptized into a family full of bores and grimy little endearing children and drunks and quiet humorists and geeks and saints. People whose lives are chaos and people whose lives of desperation never get them down. Models and Dire Warnings.
If you are inclined to dislike your church and long for a different one that seems full of people "more like you," ask yourself if your family lives up to your tastes (and you live up to theirs). If you think the decorations and music are awful, and the finance committee needs to get their high horses taken away from them, check yourself out for spiritual socks-and-sandal outfits and your ridiculous pride in your avocation, boring to everybody but you and your industry buddies.
If I love my family and friends, I'd better damn well love my church just as much, because we're all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Okay, I think I've made room for another taco and a beer. What a pretty cake!......
A defense of NFP in Commonweal
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