Get Real

I  am into movies, television shows, and music. But due to topics, language or casts, I prefer not to make too many recommendations to others. There is no need to get into some debate why my preferences don’t include your’s.

With that being said, I need to suggest something to most people. Get ahold of a copy of the book titled ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel.’ It is written by a former priest, Brennan Manning. If you are tired of being preached at, but aren’t looking for some sugar-coated, politically-correct way of looking at life, this book is right for you. This book for the last couple of days has caused me to fight myself about things I think and the way I see people. (Recommendation: get the Visual Edition. If you are into pictures and weird graphics positioned oddly, the artwork is perfectly coordinated for impact.)

While reading the book (I was done in less than 24 hours), I looked at the people immediately surrounding me. There was the guy about my age with a goat-tee reading a book titled Children of Chaos by Dave Duncan. How awesome is that? I am reading some book about grace and this guy is reading some book with some sort of monster on the front of it. Made me wonder what his story was. Whose life does this guy impact on a daily basis? Is he happy with life?

There was the guy next to me. Older guy. He was a newspaper reader and newspaper folder. He flipped, turned, straightened, and rustled that paper so many times. Was he nervous? Was he needing some sort of attention from just anyone? Where was he headed next?

Then there was the row of Mac-heads. All the laptops had the glow of the Apple pulsating. Were they on their computers for work or pleasure? Were books being written right there in my presence? When was the last time they got a hug?

The last two days, I have taken the kids to this week’s Vacation Bible School. Not trying to play Mr. Mom, but I get why most moms have such a strong connection with their children. One child may tear away from his mother once they get to the right classroom, but that same kid will come sprinting to his mom’s open arms when she returns to pick him up. There are also those kids that have a hard time removing their faces from their mom’s shoulder because they don’t want her to leave. There are moms kneeled down against the wall listening to fascinating tales of what her kid learned that day about how much God loves them.

Me? I am the goofy dad that forgot the diaper bag at home. I am that dad that is counting heads every 7.3 seconds to make sure everyone is keeping up. Then, there is the chore of gathering up all the pieces of art for each child and trying to figure out how to carry it all while walking five kids down stairs, through the parking lot, and in between open car doors. But, after getting everyone in the car-seats and buckled in, I turn around to look into eyes that are absolutely full of life.

Before God, I am simply a ragamuffin. I am not a professional athlete, musician, or artist. I have no special gifts or talents. And yet, when the cell phone alarm goes off each morning, the day beckons for my participation. How in the world could I miss Logan’s words to me? (Today, we are walking from his classroom down the hall to go and get Samantha and Candice. We are talking about the petting zoo they got to visit today. I am wanting to share in his excitement about getting to see the baby pig and goats and roaster. We take a few more steps and he says to me,”I missed you while you were gone. I love you, Daddy.” I know that one day, I will miss the day my son looked up at me in his Wiggles shirt and wore his heart on his sleeve.) To God, I will never be better than a rich oil-tycoon or the big-city prostitute or the Sunday morning deacon or the card shark. How refreshing?

Go out and get that book and see if it doesn’t change something about you. Christians call God’s word the ‘Good News.’ Really? Seriously? How about ‘Better News’? Today, there is reality TV and there are rappers “keeping it real” and plenty of opportunity to make fake aspects about our lives seem real. The good news about God that needs to be realized over and over again is that He already knows the real us. No need to dress it up for him. Like the child’s action, God wears His own affection for us on His sleeve.



One Response to “Get Real”

  1. NanaPops Says:

    If I didn’t have our copy loaned out to someone who is also going nuts over it, I’d pick it up and start through it again right now after reading your blog. What a great book (and blog)

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