All The Answers

Been struggling. Money is a big thing – always is when you’re poor. My kid is in a Montessori school which we gotta pay for, plus the mortgage and utilities and all that. Somebody on the blue bird app made the observation that the phrase “cost of living”should be a lot more horrifying than it is. I’ll co-sign that. And then the truck conked out, so I had to replace the starter which didn’t solve all the problems and the inspection sticker was dead and while that was going on, the insurance payment rolled around and I didn’t have it, so I been walking. And the school wanted their money, so I was stressed out.

I was at work t’other night, tapping away at the “What Jesus Said” project and I got to John 16:24, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” And I thought, “Well, I could use a little financial help”, but it was slightly more than a passing thought – more like in the earnest prayer category.

Got off work at 7:00am, went home, noticed that the previous day’s mail was in the box because I left it there because I didn’t feel like dealing with it. so I took it in. Fed the cats and called them names, went through the mail, throwing out junk and tossing bills on the pile, came across something from one of the colleges I’ve taken classes at this year and thought, “Well, shit. This can’t be good.” I just assumed something bad was going on. Opened it up and it was a check for $1,000. Just like that – $1,000.

No idea why. I guess it’s ’cause I signed up for a couple classes which I dropped pretty quick because I found out I could test out of them – I did one of those test-outs already and passed – and they pulled money from my account and now they’re refunding it. Or something. Weird that It was $1,000 even. I’m not spending a lotta time trying to figure it out – the check went through and I paid for this month of my kid’s schoolin’. Gonna mail some checks for power and water in the morning.

That’s the second time this year that I was stressed about money and a check just showed up unexpected. There were two other times when I was broke and the opportunity to work fell in my lap, which made it possible for me to earn money. It’s especially crazy because I don’t believe in the kinda prayer where people are like “Lord, please give me money” and then they go buy lottery tickets. If I’m praying, I’m asking for strength or courage or patience – not a thousand scrillas. That doesn’t mean I don’t think God can and will provide material goods – He can do anything He dang well pleases – just that I don’t believe asking for shit is the right use of prayer. When I thought what I thought about financial help. it was more like I was carrying my worry to God so He could take it from me. I didn’t expect a check in the mail.

But there it is. The help has come every time I’ve needed it. I want to have faith that the help will come – sometimes I do, when I’m in the black, I’m full faith. It’s when I don’t see how the ends can meet that I start frettin’ and then I start thinking about doing a B & E, like I used to do when I was a drunk, but I’m sober now so I wouldn’t be stupid and sloppy about it. My head really just jumps to crime when I’m pressed for money. I thought a heist through the other day – it’d be easy – but then I run into the fact that it’s wrong to steal. Well, it’s kinda wrong to steal. It’s wrong to steal from the kinda people who it’s easy to steal from. If you can steal from a billionaire, go to it. But I was thinking about burgling a small business that doesn’t have any real security or locks that make much difference and it is wrong to steal from folks who are just barely getting by themselves. But I didn’t do it.

Thing is, I don’t wanna be walking around thinking I don’t have to try because God’ll bail me out if I get in trouble. I think that’s taking God for granted and it doesn’t usually work. We are supposed to assume some responsibility in our lives. God is our Parent, but we ain’t toddlers. So it’s a balance – relying on God, but not expecting Him to do everything for me. And that’s not what I read in the Gospels. There, it’s all throw yourself on God’s mercy and depend on Him for everything.

Jeezy peezy – I’m glad I don’t have to have all the answers.

In other news, I’m still slogging through this class, which is all hermeneutics and exegesis and shit. The more I learn about theology, the more convinced I am that it’s a bad idea. Jesus never expounded His theology. I get the most out of scripture when I just read it and let it sink in. Well, I do sometimes use other things – The Bible Project is a good resource for getting overviews of books and such. I been watching those lately. But that stuff works when I turn to it on my own. Having some guy who make his money tell me that I should care about what some guy said about some other guy’s opinion on some verse in II Kings that I wouldn’t’ve read if I had my d’ruthers isn’t useful for me. So, I’m jumping through the hoops and hopefully doing well enough to get a pass.

Really not feeling the love for these homeless fuckers. They’re all truly tragic and they’ve been horribly fucked over by the system, which is a nightmare, but that don’t make ’em pleasant people to be around. Especially the tweakers. I used to do meth on occasion, but I never was able to conjure up the sense of entitlement that some of these speed freaks live in. I keep showing up to work because, like I said, I believe I have to make some effort to support myself. And I still expect to work with the benighted homeless blighters when I get ordained. If that ever happens

I’m hearing a lotta folx in the institution that we call church talking about how the institution that we call church has to be radically re-imagined, if not burnt to the ground, and I’m here for that with my Zippo in hand. My Zippo, by the by, is a 1969 model, like me, which has an Army Ranger logo on one side and the words “For those who have fought for it freedom has a taste the protected the protected shall never know”. I’ll co-sign that too.


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