Tuesday, August 5, 2008

BUBBLING OVER?

Chatty Kelly just blogged about life in a bubble! If you haven't checked out her post, it's a good one. I wanted to respond to some things she brought up but I knew it would be too long to post as a comment, so here goes.

While GP and I were at Channel 5 yesterday (see my post here), they led off the show with the story of a local 14 yo who stabbed his parents. A guy who was standing offset with us while we were waiting for GP's turn leaned over and asked her, "Got anything for 'No More Stabbing'?"

Well, guess what? We do. We have the Word of God. We have the Life of Christ working in and through us. But like Kelly said, if we stay in our bubble, no one will benefit.

This comes from a formal bubble-liver. (I just made up that word, btw) I was determined to protect my kids and my family from the world at all costs. And then God just tore that away from me when He called my husband and consequently, of course, my family to go to the inner city. Since then I've learned that the object of the game, when it comes to parenting, is not to protect, but to prepare. And if I've done my job in that regard, that will mean a couple of things:

1) It means that I have lived a bubble-free life before my kids. It means I get involved in the lives of people who are not like-minded and who are not like me. It means I spend time showing my kids what it looks like to live generously and love without reservation. It means I open my home and my heart. It means I do what often scares me. It means I live out a risky faith. (That's what my sons will pay the most attention to--the risk and the adventure of life with Christ--not a namby-pamby, keep-my-hands-clean-and-my-shoes-on kind of faith.)

2) It means when my kids have the chance to glorify God, I say okay. I surrender. I believe Him when He says they are in His hands. Case in point: The lovely was invited to play at a club downtown that is not Christian. For some reason, this place was inviting not just the lovely but also other area Christian bands to come out and play. A friend of hers told her outright, "There's no way my band is going to play there." But the lovely prayed about it and said, "God says to go." She took her loveliness, which you know is the glory of Christ on her, into a pit of darkness that night. The walls were covered with graffitied obscenities. The observers were gothic and hurting. The band that played before her sang a "song" that was just cursing all the way through. And then it got lovely. Because she had a worship service there. She had teens raising their hands and praising Jesus in that pit. The lights came on. The bubble was shattered.

I don't think leaving the bubble looks as romantic as John Travolta riding away with Glynnis O'Connor (and I didn't have to even look that up to know she was the co-star because I remember absolutely useless pop trivia quite easily). I know it didn't for me. It looked and felt more like someone getting their guts ripped out. For me, it was confronting the truth. I remember sharing with a friend as we began going to our new church, "God is exposing my true colors. And it's not pretty."
If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. (The Message, end of Matthew 5)

2 comments:

Chatty Kelly said...

Rebecca - you are so BRAVE!!! I so much hear God calling me to this. Yesterday my quiet time was spent with Acts 10 & 11 - God sending Peter a vision to befriend those different then he, and tell them about Jesus. And they are saved!

I am really scared. I do love my bubble and I so desire a bubble of safety for my children. So I will wrap us in God's armor and try to "be like John Travolta" and risk coming out of the bubble. Or be like Rebecca. Or maybe I should try to be just like Jesus. :-)

Thanks for the encouragement.

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

I am so not brave.

In fact, God has shown me a lot of things about myself and about Himself, and when it comes to brave, HE IS! And when it comes to snooty, selfish, self-absorbed, and bubble-living, I am. :)

Oh yes--let's be like Jesus! I'm with you, sister!

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