Tag Archives: love

And it was still hot

That's me up there.

That’s me up there.

When I was a boy, I discovered a wonderful book.  It was a part of my school library, and I would check it out every chance I had.  It was the story of a boy who was sent to bed without his supper for misbehaving.  While in his room a “forest grew, and grew, and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and his walls became the world all around.”

I was Max.

I was the little boy that got into trouble.  Not so much for being a wild thing, but for other reasons.  I was the little boy that had a big imagination – one full of friends and heroes and enemies and a few wild things.  I was the boy, who after going on an adventure, even when he knew his mother might be angry with him, could depend on the fact that when he came home, his supper would be waiting for him.

“Where the Wild Things Are” is more than a book to me.  It is a story that captured me twenty five years ago and continues to hold me tight.  It is a story I now tell my daughter – word for word, without the book.  It is a story of adventure, imagination, friendship, love, loss, and grace.

“Where the Wild Things” opens in movie theaters tonight.  I have seen all the trailers.  Even with a resounding endorsement from Maurice Sendak, I am reluctant to see it.  I am reluctant because its not his story anymore.  And its not Spike Jonze’s story either.  Its mine.

“Where the Wild Things Are” is MY story.  It is MY adventure.  I was there when they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.  I was on that ship – dozens of times.  It is MY wild rumpus, complete with the beating drums in the background that I still make when I read the story.  I was the king of the Wild Things.

I am Max.

And it was MY mother who had dinner waiting for me when I returned.

I will probably go see the movie, but to be honest I’m not sure if I want to.  I’m not exactly sure what I’m afraid of.  I know that the story will always be mine.  When I was a kid it was important to know that no matter how wild I was, no matter how far I strayed, no matter how long I was gone, my supper would always be waiting for me.

As an adult I have a deeper understanding of grace.  Max and his mother helped teach me that.  So now maybe its okay to let go of my story – a little.  The story of grace is one that needs to be told over and over to as many people as possible.

Someday soon my daughter will come home from the library (her favorite place in the world) carrying the story of Max and his wild friends.  She will read it and I pray that she will know that no matter how wild she is, no matter how far she strays, no matter how long she is gone, her supper will always be waiting for her.

And it will still be hot.

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Filed under Christianity, Media

I love you one

Today I after breakfast I rose from the table to go to church, and I looked at my wife and two year old daughter and said, “I love you two.”  My daughter said, “What about Basil? [our dog]”

So I replied, “You’re right, I love you three.”

My daughter smiled and said, “I love you one.”


Filed under Personal Reflection

Jill and Kevin’s Wedding Entrance

This is the lastest viral video to hit it big on the internet, and it is the first which to me has some theological implications.

I have been thinking a lot about this clip. As a pastor, I find myself wondering what I would do if a couple approached me with this idea. As of right now, I have two weddings on my calendar. It’s unlikely that either of these weddings will feature a dance-line processional, but given the popularity of this video, I can’t help but feel that in the course of my career, it’s going to come up.

Let me begin by saying that my reaction has absolutely nothing to do with this couple in particular. I have to admit I was moved by this video. The spirit of joy and celebration was evident – and not just in the dance moves. It was clear that this wedding was a celebration. Surely weddings are celebrations. The problem I consider is this: what are we celebrating?

It is not difficult to convince most couples that a wedding is about celebrating. The problem is that the celebration usually focuses on the bride and groom and the love they share. Yes, a wedding is about celebrating the love between two people, but it needs to be more. Too many weddings are little more than a narcistic celebration of wealth, materialism, and a romanticized, commercialized version of “love” that has little to do with Biblical love, faith, devotion, or self-sacrifice.

Seriously, ask a pastor you know if they would rather do a funeral or a wedding. I’m guessing the answer would surprise you.

The reason is because at most weddings God is an afterthought. The sanctuary is not so much a sacred space for worship as it is a pretty room with colorful windows and a good sound system. The congregation is actually carefully selected and invited guests. The pastor is usually chosen because they kind of “go with the church.” And of course, the ceremony is a not a time to encounter the divine and to worship God; it is just a troublesome ritual that has to be done before we get to the good part.

If a couple came to me and wanted to begin their wedding like this, I am not sure how I would react. It would probably depend on the couple. I can imagine a couple that really wanted to express their joy through dance. Dance has always been a part of worship, and I would be in favor of an entrance such as this if it were a part of a larger ceremony that celebrated God’s presence in their lives.

I can also imagine a couple that would use this as little more than another way to show everyone how great they are. If a couple, “saw it on youtube, and thought it would be fun,” I don’t think I’d be real supportive. Given the general self-centered, God-ignoring state of our culture, it would be difficult for me to not presume that most couples wanting to do a dance like this would be in this category.

Yes, this appears to be a wonderful celebration. I just have to ask, who is being celebrated?


Filed under Christianity