Friday, March 31, 2017

Dear Christian Millennial Sister (aka, Jesus Girl),

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I know that time is a concern for you and, with no pictures and more than 140 characters, I appreciate the investment you're making. I also respect you enough to know that you have a sense of humor. I mean, I saw your snap with the poodle ears and big tongue-- girl you're hilarious!

I want to take this opportunity to explain a little about myself (and my generation) to you; after all, there are many "open letters" circulating from "you" to "me," so it's only fair that I am accurately represented. Remember- there are no losers here-- we are all winners. (Again, playing on that sharp wit of yours)

Number One:  I am a Boomer (short for Baby Boomer). Our generation is named that because we were born between 1946 and 1964. That era was know as the "Baby Boom," and the world population increased by over 76,000,000 during that span. I know this sounds like a boring statistic, but pretend it's you and read it again. SEVENTY SIX MILLION PEOPLE. There are a lot of us and current health care is good. We're sticking around for a while so you may want to understand us. Plus, you'll be wiping our drool when we're really old, and we want you to get to know us while we're still coherent. 

Number Two: Mine is the first generation to survive/be part of/be subjected to the temptations of mind-altering drugs, the sexual revolution, modern news media, satellite communications, and modern technology. My generation, unlike our parents', understands many of the dangers and challenges you face on a daily basis. What's more, I'm here to help. I just don't know how to let you know that without making you think of me as a drugged-up, sex-crazed, techno-weirdo. And what you think about me matters. A lot. I want to love you. In fact, I really don't want there to be a label on either of us. Growing up, our parents (and the people on our color tv) drilled into us that we were to "bridge the Generation Gap" and that we were all the same- "Do NOT Discriminate!" Now what do we have? Labels: Boomer, Millennial, Gen X, etc. Please do not mistake our confusion with disorientation. I still remember my address, so you can relax and let go of my elbow. 

Number Three: In all honesty, we, the Boomers, are a little in awe of you. You have come so far in your walk- much further than many of us when we were your age- and also you wear cute layers of denim and lace. And don't even get us started on the blue hair. You're so stinkin' young and you prepare a pretty good devo (and by the way, when we hear "devo" we think of the punk band with flowerpots on their heads, so pardon us if we seem confused. Again, you can let go of my elbow).  Just- please don't get too far ahead of yourself. Even with all of the Bible tools at your disposal, you still need some Life under your boho stretch belt. I mean, I'm glad you're having the conversations about marriage and babies and clean food. I'm thankful you have a good Foundation- you'll use it when you're riding out the storm. 

Number Four: I promise never to say "adorbs" if you promise not to call me "cute." When you call a middle-aged or older person "cute," you may think you are being nice. Some of us may like it- or maybe we just can't hear as well as we used to. But it also can be interpreted as belittling and disrespectful. Puppies are cute. My generation survived witnessing multiple assassinations, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, Watergate, Sept 11, and the Gulf Wars. Not to forget, polyester and Alf. We are a lot of things, but we are not "cute." 

Number Five: Finally, I would love nothing more than to spend time with you. Honest, quality time discussing anything and everything that is on you heart and in your mind. My friends and I don't have all the answers, but we know Who does, and we are eager to both lead you and learn from you. But we don't want to "butt in." So, if you want to talk, we're here to listen. I'm here to listen. Just let me know. You can IM, text, tweet, or find me over on Insta. 

Because we're not as boring as you think. 

Love,
Dolly

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The house I grew up in had a huge picture window in the front room. It was a Cape Cod, built in the 50s; why wouldn't you have a picture window in the 50s? Life was great! Communism was defeated, there were great big cars in the driveway, and everyone played in the street. So naturally, Mom would need a big, shiny glass picture window to dress in tie-back sheers. One that would frame the picture of her man coming home at the end of the day. 

I used to love to look out of that window at the plum tree, the front gate, our dogs. But didn't take me long to know that there wouldn't always be a dad pulling into the driveway and coming up the walk. And, when he did, it wasn't all that great. 

So I learned not to look too far past the glass. 

Even though I loved to play outside, I never minded rainy days. Living near the coast, rain drenched our windows. Strong gusts of wind blew in quickly.  When I could see the underside of the silver maple trees, I knew a storm was on its way. Our soft, circular sofa was just the right height for me.  On my knees, face close to the window, I watched as the storm moved in. Once the rain began slapping against the glass, I would find a droplet and trace it all the way to the bottom. It may seem like that would be boring- it was anything but! 

Sometimes the drops would start off strong, only to dissolve completely before they ever got close to the bottom. Others would begin their trip down the glass alone and then join forces with another drop, and maybe another, until they were consuming the water on the glass and flooding themselves toward the end. But some droplets- looking no different from any others, would travel slowly down the pane, dodging, stopping, and navigating until they reached their destination. 

These drops originated over 6 miles up and they made it all the way to my front window. Fighting their way to their destination, nothing, I mean nothing, was going to stop them. Deter them, yes; stop them, not a chance. Rarely did a drop ever go straight down. It was normal, even expected, to be detoured. 

And there we have the life-lesson. You knew it was coming, didn't you?

We are all created individually, and specifically, for a purpose. Our lives are fleeting, compared to the eternity that awaits. We may choose to navigate with a partner, we may travel this journey without one. But we can count on life's journey never being straight and predictable. And, once we invite Him into our lives, we can count on our Creator's presence forever and that He will never, ever leave us totally alone. (Hebrews 13:5) 

The rain that ran down my front window dripped off the wooden frame directly into the flowerbed. It wet the shredded newspaper, clean crushed eggshells, and coffee grounds that my mom put behind the most beautiful azaleas I have ever seen. My mom knew that the ground needed to be prepared and it had to be fertile. Our house was near a lake; it would do no good for the rain to hit the hard, thick clay that made up the lake bed. But combined with the organic material that Mama so faithfully supplied, our azaleas had a color I have never seen anywhere else. A cross between purple and fuchsia that celebrated the uniqueness of our Creator. They were thick and healthy and they provided a shelter for our sweet dogs, tiny sparrows, and a fleet of Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels. 

As I write this, the Sun is coming out after a Sunday that included a dynamic presentation of the Gospel at 8am, hard, cold rain, and even snow (on the last day of Winter)! It's been a full and wonderful day. And I know that, as great as that sermon was, it would do no good if I didn't prepare my heart to receive the message that was presented. Our lessons in this life do no good if we do not receive them into an open heart. And, once received, if we don't share the knowledge that has come our way, what good are they?

So as the Lord sends us a shower of messages, pray that your heart will be the fertile soil necessary for them to flourish and bloom. And prepare to be astounded at the blessings yet to come! 

I can't rest until I get this stuff said. So here goes.  Why is it that, if I disagree with someone, I "hate," but if they ...