Blogging for Jesus

I have so much to write about that nothing is really sticking in one place. I am about as stoned as one can get on OTC medication- real Sudafed and Zyrtec together was a bad idea. All morning I’ve felt like I am walking through wall-to-wall Jell-o. I can’t pick a flavor. What seems right for a Friday? Leave it in the comments. Oh, wait. It’s peach. Friday peach (inside joke just for Meg [holla!]).

I should have bought the Sudafed PE instead, but in the past I have always told people it says, “does not work” right on the box. It is the deodorant crystal of sinus meds. But at the same time, I think it works better than the credit I’ve given it in the past. For instance, it does not suppress my appetite, and in my case, that’s a bad thing. I’m trying. I really am. For breakfast I had two pieces of rye toast smothered in margarine made of coconut oil because we don’t have any coffee. If you don’t get the reference, I thought it might be a good compromise for Bulletproof Coffee. If it doesn’t taste right, I’ll get the Kerrygold and a jar of real coconut oil. Everyone I know who drinks it is an evangelist (sometimes literally [shout-out to Casey, a real evangelical pastor]).

As I have said before, I feel better when I eat vegan food, so I’m trying to buy it more often. That’s not to say I’m a true vegan. I ate the hell out of some ribs and chicken on Memorial Day. I just pay for it later. Something’s not right with me, and I am going to make an appointment to see an internist to re-do the urine and blood tests for rheumatoid markers since Jacob isn’t my doctor anymore and I need to establish one here. It’s time. I can’t be passive about it. I have been out of fear of finding out what’s wrong with me. It doesn’t make any sense at all except that I’m scared of the reality of being sick. Samantha was brave enough to face her treatment plan head-on. The least I can do is follow her lead.

I watched her get angry, really really angry. Sobs and screaming to such a degree that I thought she’d gotten fired or something. If only she had been, because it would have been better news. Her dad said, “I thought you’d gotten engaged, won the lottery, or gotten pregnant.” Again, if only. I don’t want to share her diagnosis to protect her privacy, but I think she’s starting to write about it herself. If she does, I will link that bitch up. She is almost as funny as I am. 😉

Back to you, Bob. Let’s go to the phones.

Getting over Dana has been so much easier with you guys. I can vent, I can cry, and you’ll still love me afterwards. Of course, you’re not here for the crying part, but I know there are parts of my writing where you know I’m feeling something. My hope in writing about this mess is that it continues to let me bless and release this relationship without being bitter and angry. It has gotten me nothing in the past. I really do go out with joy in terms of Argo and Dana, because I know I was the problem in many cases, not just one. At the same time, though, it is feeding me to feel joy that the relationships happened in the first place, rather than being an angry asshole that they ended. Not every relationship is supposed to be lifelong. Nothing is stopping me from sending good energy so that if they come here and read something that strikes as true, we can pick up later on. I do not have hope, but I do have peace, if that makes any sense at all. I just know that if they show up, they’re not going to be received in anger. That’s the best I can do in a situation like this, because they both mean so much to me that it doesn’t make sense to hold on to the bad feelings. It makes sense to hold on to the good. Not that it will make them any more likely to show up or not, just that I have peace within myself and the direction I am going without them.

I workshop all my feelings to go back and find what is truth and not what is said in the moment. In the moment, I say things that may or may not ring true later… that’s why you see so much difference in the way I feel day to day, and sometimes they’ll give you cognitive dissonance unless you hold on to the fact that it’s just a snapshot and not the whole picture. Timestamps MATTER. It’s kind of like walking the Bible, in a way. That’s why there are opposing views in it, too. You have to know when the books were written and in whose voice to really understand it. The difference between my blog and the Bible is that there’s only one voice, and in the Bible, there are many.

I just had an epiphany. “Stories” is my blog. The Bible is theirs. Moses, Mark, Luke…. Pick a voice. They’re writing what they see in that date and time. Interesting. It may not matter much to you if you’re not a God person, but it struck me as important. Like, the Pentateuch is Moses’ blog. To me that is accurate AND hilarious.

Paul is the biggest blogger of them all. He writes letters to every church you can possibly imagine. Ephesus, Corinth, Caesaria Phillipi, you name it. Paul was ON IT.

Man, that was a shot in the arm of energy. They wrote their books of the Bible. I’m writing mine. What makes us think that our words about the works of Christ in our lives (or Moses, for that matter) are any less sacred? They may not make canon, but neither did Tobit, and yet, his words are accepted by some congregations, anyway. Still meaning to read Elaine Pagels’ seminal work on the gospel of Judas that didn’t make it, but it’s on my to-do list. Also, I am going to read every word that Karen Armstrong has ever written, because I’ve seen her on TV and I think she is one of the best theological minds in the world. She posits that the reaction to the divine is more important than the divine itself, and has been since the beginning of creation. It’s why you can forget about disproving God with science, because science and religion feed different things. I feel sorry for the Biblical literalists that can’t see it, because I think they’re being left behind in this realm, much less the Rapture (still giggling over “Come the Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned” and “Come the Rapture, Can I Have Your Car?” Didn’t write ’em. Still funny.).

They’re being left behind because they are taking an ancient society and trying to fit their rules into ours. Will it Blend? I think not. The best we can do, and I got this line from Susan Leo, is to take the Bible seriously, but not literally. The Bible is the lens through which those people saw their world, and we can use it as a living document, much like the Constitution. As the UCC so eloquently says, “God is still speaking.” I’m just trying to figure out what God is saying to me. I have a lot of work to do. Knowing the direction you need to go and knowing the concrete steps to get there are two different things. Putting one foot down on holy ground was asking Starbucks to donate coffee….. but where does my other foot go? I am not afraid. I am confused. There’s a difference.

Luckily, I have people who believe in me that I can go to for help. Like you. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep listening. Keep praying for me. Keep supporting me. Keep seeing the vision, and if you want, ask me how you can help. I will put you to work, that’s for damn sure. I can’t do this alone, and I’m not. When I put myself out there, people listen. I’m not used to that sort of thing, but I’m getting there. I’m taking back my power from the weakling I’d become due to my own unworthiness.

You have no idea how much you’ve helped to erase that feeling. All your donations, all your love notes, all your prayers and PRESENCE. Presence is the biggest thing. If God works through us, then I see God in your eyes. You matter to me, Fanagans. You gave me self-esteem and confidence at a time in my life when I desperately needed it. You reached into your own godspaces and treated me with everpresentlovingkindness that stemmed from your own willingness to give of yourselves.

As Gracie Allen so famously said, and another slogan adopted by the UCC, “never place a period where God has placed a comma,”

My comma is happening right now, in this very room. Downsizing into staying in someone else’s house so that I could manage less and think more is propelling me into a different Leslie than you’ve ever seen before. I still slip and slide through life what with my cerebral palsy and ADD and running into things, both literally and figuratively. At the same time, though, I am thinking through different things than I ever thought I would. I have a bigger capacity for growth. That only happened when I let myself into my innermost secrets.

I am so glad I decided to invite you along for this glorious ride. We’ve been through the valley together. Let’s go to the mountain top. I’ll bring the champagne. You bring the hugs.

Amen.

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