February 14, 2006

29: Cubans

On Tuesday evening, my stinky feet and I put on our flip-flops and sweat pants and went out on the side lawn to smoke Cubans with Jack and Paul. We sat in the wet grass, the evening still glowing with the luminescent late blue hour, the hour of dusk that many believe to be holy. (I am among them.) As the sky lost its glow we were lit by nothing but the lights from the windows of Wycliffe Hall. Jack and I were smoking, and I was drinking orange juice from a can, discovering that orange juice and cigars are a fairly horrible combination. Paul, raised in a good strict Assemblies of God home, chose to abstain. “Smoke a cigar and go to hell? No, I don’t think so,” he laughed.

We talked about how I had only just discovered that I grew up with a view of the world where there were good people (Christians) and bad people (everyone else). I finally realized that I had been looking down at the world all these years, and saw that we are all loved the same, and all flawed the same—all of us equal before God. That God could be just as present at a party where guys were smoking joints in the driveway as he was at my Bible study—present in a different way, but still present and reaching. When you see the world that way, anyplace can be holy.

Jack believes that Jesus at a party would have stood out, would have obviously been different. Paul and I think He would have been incredibly comfortable, would have made other people comfortable because He loved them.

Paul’s brother was an alcoholic, until one day Jesus miraculously healed him. Paul kept trying to talk him into getting treatment, and his brother tried from time to time, but it didn’t stick, and he kept saying he knew that God would just heal him, and one day He did, and he hasn’t had a drink since. Before his brother had been healed, he was walking down the sidewalk and a woman handed him a tract about Christianity. And he told Paul he knew that she wasn’t a Christian—obviously—because she was wearing pants. All of us, to some degree or other (and to our regret), inherited this pattern of horrible injustice to the grace of God.

I felt free to say what I really think to Jack, free to disagree with him, because he is genuinely interested in what I think. He hears me out not for the purpose of belittling me, but to better understand me, and maybe even adjust his own thinking. I haven’t always felt that way with the men in my life.

About 11:15, when Jack and I were light-headed from smoking, and our seats were wet, we headed in and called it a night. I fairly floated up the stairs. It’s not just any guy, after all, who could sustain such an earnest conversation about God’s grace.


Blogger Sary said...


Just wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying your style of writing, insights and wisdom ... keep blogging!

2/14/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Thanks, sary!

2/15/2006 09:59:00 AM  

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