This is Iris. Not the lady, that's me. Iris is the car, and she is the first one I have bought in about 15 years. We just don't buy cars in my family, but this was my badly needed Christmas gift to myself this year (and for the next 6). Iris is "preowned" but like new to me. Isn't she a cutie?
This is also Iris as of about midnight last night.
Cue solemn death march melody. Harken to the shuffling feet of the funeral procession. Line your pockets with tissues ready to receive tears. Okay, maybe she's not breathing her last, but her entire left side bears the mirror image of the the rear bumper of a golf cart. I cry.
Last night when my husband Lou phoned in the darkness to deliver the bad news that one of the college-aged camp volunteers had given Iris a botched facelift, he was steeling himself for full-on Imma Punch Somebody Misti (not that my first reaction is eeeeeever that). However, what he received on the other end of the line was, "Oh no. Is it bad? Okay, we'll figure it out. We're sure not making <insert college-aged worker name here> pay for it. We can't let this ruin his month here."
Like, what?? This is so. not. me. Unfortunately, my endearing, cheeky temperament often gets hijacked by my premenopausal hormones and I resemble the cat you hate that suddenly reaches around and sinks its teeth in your hand with no warning. I am ashamed.
But for some reason, last night was different, and I think I have figured out why. We have spent the last month here at a Young Life camp where every worker is being intentional about being Jesus to everyone around them: campers, coworkers, visitors. We smile when we pass each other. If there is something that needs to get done, the most common reaction is to volunteer to do it. When we see someone upset, we stop what we're doing to invest. We apologize, and we forgive. We eat every meal around a table family-style and share our day. We are spending more time with Jesus here and spending more time on people. Are we perfect? No, but we are intentional. I think this is how Christian community is supposed to look.
And it changes you.
I didn't realize how much it changes you until my very unlike-Misti reaction last night. So, I'm praying I'm able to take this Misti home with me, because I'm the first to admit that I suck at it there. Heck, I even struggle here in the beautiful mountains with these great people because we are still imperfect, sometimes hurtful humans. Unfortunately, no matter where I am, my more typical self tends to get focused on my family at the expense of the outside world, have visceral reactions when someone hurts someone I love, and hole up at home in a heap of introvert. But I want to be better. And I want the church to be better. Not perfect. Better.
How amazing would it be if our goal as Christians was to create loving community instead of looking out for our own family's interests first? What if we sought to understand someone before we just assumed they are jerky jerks? What if we entered into someone's grief instead of turning away because we felt we didn't know what to do with it? What if we saw a need and inconvenienced ourselves to meet it? I wonder if unbelievers would find Jesus more attractive.
I mean, isn't that what we're trying to do? Help people see Jesus and want what he has to offer?
So, let's pray for one another. Let's pray we get our eyes off ourselves and onto loving others intentionally and practically. Let's take just one step today to love someone well. And if you see me getting Darth Vader on someone, back over me with a golf cart.