Monday, April 18, 2011

How am I remembering?

It’s Holy Week.

In all of scripture, we’re never commanded to remember Christ’s birth. We spend months doing that. Instead, He tells us to remember His death… the way His blood was spilled and His body broken.

God, give my heart a good memory.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Party in the USA.

I met a homeless man named John outside Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Los Angeles today. I kept hoping I’d run into him again before I head back east on tour. And as we were walking to dinner a few hours later, I saw him in the distance.

“Hey, John!”

“Headed out to somewhere fancy?”

“Yeah... we're just going to dinner. Do you need anything?”

I’ve started asking homeless people this question whenever I can. Just asking them what they need before they have to humble themselves to ask yet another person who will probably deny them — it makes all the difference in the way they feel about their value to God and to others.

And I’ve noticed that they will very rarely ask for money, even though they definitely need money. More often, they will ask for things like prayer, a ride to church, food, socks, blankets. My friend Mike back home wants me to help him find a job, so I’ve been making phone calls on his behalf. He doesn’t have a phone. If he calls from a pay phone, he can’t give them that number to reply to. And it doesn’t bolster his reputation with a potential employer if they have to leave a message for him at a shelter.

These gestures are tiny little things for most of us. SO TINY. It shocks me how nearly effortless it is to love people in ways that can alter the entire course of their lives. All it takes is a little bit of attention. It doesn’t even feel like dying to self — it feels like coming alive.

I’m done wasting joy on myself. I’m also done sharing it only with my peers. It surprises me how much He has given me such a passion for taking Him literally when He talks about the party in Luke 14:12-24. And it surprises me even more that it doesn’t even feel like charity… it actually feels like a party.

I find myself missing my homeless friends back home as much as my friends who have roofs over their heads. And this is how I see His work in me. He is making all things new… including my heart.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Spring Tour: Day 1

This morning I slept through my alarm. When I woke, an hour later, the sun had made its way to my window, pushing and shoving at the curtains. They're thick gray, floor-to-ceiling curtains, so the sun has to be bossy with them sometimes in order to get my attention. They're the bouncers you have to bribe to get into my windows.

The first thing I told myself was that it was a good thing I slept in. It was going to be a very long day, so I needed rest. And I didn't feel the need to rush myself, because I knew the 12 hour drive would be rough enough. So I intentionally slowed myself down. I left 3 hours later than I planned, but I had nowhere to be except for my Hampton Inn suite.

Their site said the room was $105, but I decided to try my hand at Priceline and ended up getting it for less than half price. And now I think I have a new hobby. Saving that much money feels kind of like gambling and I'm afraid it may become addictive. I hope I don't start booking hotels that I don't actually need.

So here are a few new things I'm trying out on this tour, in order to attempt to be healthier as I travel 8,500 miles in 3.5 weeks:

- Every time I stop for anything at all, I will try to do some form of brief exercise. This may mean that you will find me doing lunges across a truck stop parking lot while I'm waiting for the gas to finish pumping. Tonight, for instance, I ran wind sprints behind the Cracker Barrel where I stopped to pick up a new audio book. And then I saw the security camera and felt a little awkward.

- Eating meals while sitting somewhere other than my car. I might sit outside on the grass, lay my head back and stare at the clouds. I might eat in the booth at the grocery store deli. I just want to have a table (if possible) and some time to eat like a real human being.

- Not eating fast food. I typically don't do this anyway. But I'm making it a non-issue by taking a cooler with me on this tour. That also means that all my hotel rooms have to have refrigerators, which is why I had to go gambling on Priceline to begin with.

It's 12:39 Central Time, and I'm bidding you farewell from Room 232. I am supposed to run 11 miles tomorrow morning, but there's a good chance I will put that off until Sunday since I have to drive 5+ hours and drive a show tomorrow as well. I'll let you know.

Goodnight, moon.