i have nothing to add to the chick-fil-a hullabaloo. well, i could add some polynesian sauce because that stuff is AMAZING. in fact, if we dipped this whole incident in polynesian sauce it might help because that stuff makes everything taste better. but i could think of nothing of any substance that was worth tweeting or putting as a facebook status today on chick-fil-a appreciation day. but as the day went on and i saw everyone else's statuses it made me question why i wasn't heading straight to chick-fil-a (okay that was totally unintentional pun. the "straight" part, but it made me laugh so hard after i typed it that i thought i should point out the hilarity.)
so even if i have nothing good to say... i do have some really great things that i read today which really helped me to sort through my thoughts on this day...
"Jesus, on the other hand, found a far more interesting way to make a point with meals. He used meals to communicate his radical love for the moral misfits. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus eating with Sinners: People who made careers by stealing from others, people who worked in shady occupations and people who even ignored God’s rules about the use of their sexual organs. He ate with them all. By doing so he communicated that a Heavenly King wanted to extend his protection and Lordship to these people, knowing full well who they were.
Eating with the moral misfits also communicated that Jesus enjoyed them. He loved their smiles, their ideas, jokes, and dreams. He was for them.
Naturally, the professionally religious didn’t understand Jesus was subverting their rules concerning hospitality and their moral boxes. They just mistook him for a drunk and a glutton. But those who ate and drank with Jesus discovered a precious secret: God was for them.
So here’s my modest proposal for this Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. Have a meal with someone very different than you. Choose someone with political views that make you see red. Choose someone whose religious beliefs anger you. Choose someone who dropped their moral compass on the rocks one too many times. It’s okay. Jesus’ life teaches us that sharing a meal with someone isn’t the same thing as endorsing them.
Don’t try to fix or change that person. Laugh with your friend. Ask questions. Just enjoy that person.
Enjoy your meal at Chick-Fil-A or at that Middle Eastern restaurant you’ve been meaning to try out. Eat at a tavern or on a park bench. It doesn’t matter. Find whatever common ground you can find and enjoy it." from larryshallengerger.com, Why Appreciating or Boycotting Chick-Fil-A is an Adventure in Missing the Point (his entire article is worth a read or two.)
i also liked this article on thepublicqueue.com ... What “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” Is Really About And Why Christians Should Be Upset About It which included this food for thought (ha. pun intended.)
"When Christians show up in droves to events like this I wonder do these same groups put this much effort into alleviating hunger and thirst for those who need it? Do they organize with as much power on “Chick-fil-A Apperciation Day” as they do serving the homeless?" billy roberts on thepublicqueue.com (again, take a moment and read the whole article)
and then there is my friend (yeah, to be totally honest she doesn't know i exist. but if she knew me we would totally be bff's...) jen hatmaker whose beautiful blog posts in the basement and then the basement manifesto made me wish we were real life bff's. not just "in my imaginary world bff's."
"If you are weary of the storm, come on downstairs. We’re going to get on with the business of loving people and battling real injustices and caring for the poor and loving Jesus. We’re going to go ahead and offer mercy to one another, even if it is viewed as “soft” or “cowardly” or “dangerous.” (But once I conquer all my own demons definitively, I’ll be happy to turn a critical eye on everyone else’s. Good?) We’re going to trust that Jesus is actually at work in this world like He said, and when he promised that “His kindness leads us to repentance,” we’re just going to believe Him." from jenhatmaker.com in the basement
"Don’t imagine because I’m leaving the bloodbath, I’m also walking away from hard conversations altogether. We’re working stuff out in the basement. We’re neck deep down here. We’re putting civil discourse at the center and fighting for respect. We’re having tough conversations and battling injustices and staging round-table discussions and working through our differences.
But we are not going to murder each other doing it.
This isn’t some Christian commune. This is a way of representing the Gospel. It is about our hearts and words, reaching across party lines and believing that love is the most excellent way, even in the hard stuff. It’s about becoming a slave to everyone to win anyone to Christ – quite the opposite of “defending our rights” all the time. In the basement, people matter. All of them. And we’ve discovered that kindness and dignity do wonders for forging healthy dialogue, especially the difficult ones." jenhatmaker.com the basement manifesto
see, don't you think jen and i should become real bff's? jen, call me. maybe.
a couple of years ago i would have been ALL OVER THIS CHICK-FIL-A day. i would have eaten three meals there in one day. i would have dressed like a cow and took all my kids in dressed as cow patties. i am not sure that my reluctance to participate in this day shows a lack of spiritual growth (my baptist friends would call it backsliddin') or a small baby step toward a more excellent way.
really, with me it could be either option: a) backslidden' or b) further on and deeper in. you could easily convince me with a few well placed Bible verses or c.s. lewis quotes that a) i should have been at chick-fil-a to support God's agenda or b) that my holiness in not eating some delish waffle fries today is so spiritually superior to everyone else's that soon i will be so pride filled that soon everyone will boycott leamarshall.com since pridefulness is seriously a big time sin. that is how little i trust my own thoughts on this...
so the good or bad news (depending on which side of the fence you are on) is that i didn't eat at chick-fil-a today. not because i don't respect their right to support a Biblical view of marriage. i support that. totally. i intensely dig free speech. because i know that if i don't intensely dig free speech that our country is headed into some bad places. i read that in that book 1984 once. or was it animal farm. or hunger games. i love america the land of the free and spicy chicken sandwiches of awesomeness.
plus i am fairly convinced that God knows what makes a marriage function at it's best and how it most represents the gospel message of reconciliation and covenant and a thousand other amazingly wonderful miraculous things. i know that God's way is the BEST way. i have learned some lessons in that arena which have convinced me that He pretty much knows what He is doing and whatever He creates goes best when used His way. and goes really really bad when used for any other purposes.
my support of those issues are just on a lower plane than my love for people right now. my love for scarred, bruised, bullied, marginalized people who are just like me. and i suspect just like you. people who think that God is not for them because christians are always drawing lines in the dirt. the very dirt that God used to create mankind. all of us are children of dirt. we are the very dust that we are drawing a line in. thank God (well, thank Himself) that He didn't leave us as dust. He breathed into us. i only breathe because He breathed first. i only love because He loved first.
i don't have a stone to throw. because face it people, if stones are thrown i make for a pretty wide target. at any point people may hold up signs outside of my house saying, "God hates fatsos" or "Gluttons go to hell" written in really horrible handwriting. turns out idolatry doesn't look good on me. seeking comfort in the arms of a chicken sandwich has its side effects. stretchy pants being one of them.
God has continually been showing me it is His kindness that has led me to repentance. He continues to be so kind to me daily. He continues to pursue my heart. to sing over me with songs of hope. to show Himself as strong and loving and most of all Sovereign over all.
one of my favorite poems is by edwin markham. and on my blog which is named "witting.lea" it is fitting that this poem is named "outwitted"...
Outwitted by Edwin Markham
He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
p.s. my friend, liz (who taught me almost everything i know about civility and democracy and believing things and loving people) read this blog post. and then sent me this email. we have good ideas. we just never have them before we put on our p.j.s...
I realize belatedly (cuz I'm in my slippers now and it would take an act of God to get me out of them) that we should have gone today together to CFA. And you should have gone in and said you agree completely with Mr. Cathy's world view but that you're not going to eat with them, because you love your friend Liz and she doesn't agree - meet her. But then I'll order my food right then, because I love my friend Lea and I want to support her and she agrees completely. And we have a relationship that's more important than all this, which I think is sort of what Jesus might have been saying...
And then if we were lucky there would be protesters and we'd do the same out there. I'd introduce you to the protesters and tell them because we're friends you're going to stand with them and by the end of the time (with you dressed as a chicken of course) they'd love you and forget all about the whole dull brouhaha and ask you inside to have a sandwich or two. And I can see now that it will be important for them to get you some polynesian sauce.
Oh well, next stupid national food fight. They'll be more...
Lea & Liz. Confusing people one cupcake, one chicken sandwich at a time...