Thursday, October 25, 2012

Larger Inside Than Out.

Back in the days when I wanted to be a rockstar (not so long gone), I had a friend, a fellow musician, who made a comment one night that has always stuck with me. We were hanging out at his new practice space talking shop and the conversation turned from matters of feedback and backbeats to those of a more spiritual nature. After laying out what I thought to be a fairly accurate depiction of the gospel in response to his question as to what I believed, he said, thoughtfully, "Jesus, Christianity, it's just too simple to understand".

I have thought about that statement a hundred times since that night. I have often wondered if he was merely waxing philosophic, or, being a drummer, and used to breaking things down to their rudiments, he had tried the same with the gospel and found it rather like the tardis, larger inside than out.

But today, as I turned this around in my brain I thought that it could be something else too, that the narrow scope of the gospel is contrary to the wide minds of modern men. Because that is the thing isn't, for too many people that I have met anyway, that the gospel is just too easy, too simplistic, too vacation bible school Elmer's glue and glitter, popsicle sticks in the shape of a cross, trace your turkey hand cause God made all the animals....kinda simple. Hmmmm......

So, having been shut in the last 24 hours thanks to the little tizzy fit Sandy's throwing, I have once again been chewing on that statement, on that word, "simple". There are other simple things, things we take at face value and are not so intellectually embarrassed to do so. 

A kiss for instance. A kiss is no feat of physics and though a kiss can open up new universes in the heart no one bothers much with the cosmology of the thing. A kiss is, well, just a kiss. Sorta. And the smell of woodsmoke on winterwind. The way it transports you to a place far away or to another time. Not magic, just simple, but in the best way. And the way that you open every antique wardrobe with bated breath, hoping mothballs crunching underfoot are really snow, that furs are firs, and that Narnia looms beyond the lampstand...ok, so that is magic. And maybe it is not the simple things we profane, but those things which we feel are of such great importance, such eternal weight, that we feel they should be of equal complexity, a testament to their significance, some great girth to justify their gravity. Or maybe we like the exclusivity of a mystery, a concept, a philosophy that only a few could ever really understand. Again, hmmmmm......

But the scriptures say that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. That He takes delight in those things that are powerless and low, the things that are not as Paul's 1st letter to Corinth surmises. God, uses simple things. 

So.....I am going to be doing a blog within a blog, along with my normal posts about Haiti (or wherever I am), and social justice, and the various a sundry visceral prerogatives of my wanderlust and whimsy, I will be posting about these "simple things". That is, the rudiments of faith in Christ. It will not be the gospel in binary code or anything so mechanical. But merely fleshed out thoughts on the basics of a Christianity that I feel have been hijacked by consumerism and greed, selfishness and self promotion and a whole lot of unnecessary peripheral chatter. It would make my heart very much the happier to entitle these posts "A Christian Manifesto". But besides the obviousness and bloated pomp of that title, it has, alas, been used.... So these posts will merely be entitled, "Larger inside than out". As an aside, and of a more personal nature, these posts will for me serve not so much as a defense of my faith, or an instructional creed, but for posterity sake, that my son may have on record his father's faith. And that may he be so inclined as to endeavor to call to my remembrance such words as these, I pray they will bring conviction to my heart where I have not lived them. But mostly I want them to be a picture of an adventure that he himself will want to jump right into.... 


  1. This makes me both want to trace my hand in the shape of a turkey and cover it in glitter but more importantly miss the times speaking to the simple things about Christianity and life we used to kick around... Love this stuff and cant wait for more

    1. Adam!!! I miss you brother. We must hang out when I am in the States!!!!