My First Easter “Back”

My Brother’s Home, Mission Viejo, CA, Easter Morning. I went to little “Cady-bug’s” 1st Birthday party yesterday afternoon here in Lake Forest and hung out with my friend, Marie and gang. Well, actually what ended up happening is that I made a connection with Eric, Marie’s friend, Etta’s husband. Marie had said that Etta and Eric had become “born-agains” a couple of years ago and that it was a real balancing act in their friendship. So I knew that that was in the air. What I didn’t know is that Eric was in the process of switching from his former DJ thing to exploring how he can use his music to serve the Lord. He’s a drummer and basic all around sound-guy. Whoa. That was an unexpected turn. Interesting….

4/20/2003 12:39 PM

I got down to San Diego a bit early so rather than sitting around waiting for my siblings to arrive and running the risk of facing mom’s 20-questions alone, I decided to come down to the beach and write a bit. Alas, with the dent in front of my passenger-side door I’m not able to sit in the passenger seat to “spaciously” write these words while traffic flies by on my left and the ocean calmly calls to me on my right.

Yesterday afternoon’s long conversation with Eric really got my head thinking. When I stepped away I had to reflect and remember that I’m not ready to step out and “resume” my former “music ministry” role. I’m still very much trying to find myself in all of this. But at the same time I know that part of my struggle is because while this is “mine” to do, I cannot do this alone. I very much need the support of my friends and the community. That was my original thinking when I decided to go to church last weekend.

Living alone as I do it’s quite easy to say anything and not do, because I’m not accountable to anyone. I’ll just be blunt here… I wasn’t too happy with my attempts to balance between my exploration of what my faith means to me and what has been my usual means of “forgetting it all”: ye ol’ meaningless romp through p0rno land. P0rno land was “winning,” or at least occupying enough time to basically get in the way. So, I know that’s kind of the trap of doing things in isolation. So it made sense to step things up a bit and “go public” and go back to church. I guess it’s silly in that I’m trying to be somewhat methodical with something that isn’t at all methodical or orderly. But, because this is so important to me, I have to do this in a way that makes sense to me.

So I spent the evening with my brother and his wife and worked a bit on my brother’s PC. His wife told me that she heard of a great church in my area but couldn’t remember the name. She cautioned that it was a bit liberal (in that her referring friend was in a same-sex relationship and was quite accepted at that church). Hmmm, this should be interesting. She said that she’d email the info later. I’m glad that I shared these things with them. I do wish that I felt comfortable enough with them that I could tell them about my love and how much I love her. Soon (I hope).

They were also very supportive about the diet and said that they could see a difference. That made me feel great. My brother said that he has a friend who’s an Atkins disciple and will ask where she gets her power bars, etc. I love my brother and his family. I wasn’t able to eliminate the problem that he was having with his PC so the plan is that he’s going to get a new hard disk in the near future and we’ll redo the OS on that one some weekend.

Then I spent the morning going another former haunt, Calvary Chapel Mission Viejo (formerly Saddleback Valley). There was a certain culture shock walking in after as many years as it’s been. And as was the case with last week’s church, I didn’t know a single soul there. Actually after talking to Eric I was kind of hoping that this was the church he was going to, but for no real reason decided against asking him directly. I guess I’ll have to do that next time. Anyway, I’m from the era before the advent of worship bands so that was a bit of an adjustment to make. They sounded great. Again, it’s going to take time for me to be really comfortable, so I didn’t quite belt it out during their singing. Beyond that, the simplicity of the interaction and “process” was familiar and comfortable.

The minister, Neil Travasano, had taken over after I left that church so it was actually my first time listening to him. It being Easter morning, it was all about the resurrection. The one point that’s sticking with me is this “throwing away the old, because everything is new.” Looks like P0rno-land is going to get knocked down another peg. I thought it was funny toward the end of one conversation with my buddy when I said something to the effect that, while I’m on hold with my love I might as well spend the rest of the evening with “” And he more or less said, hey, you’re not supposed to do that anymore. That surprised me, but it was kind of nice that he was trying to encourage me to do what I said I was going to do. But it was funny coming out of his mouth.

Of greater concern for me is the Biblical objection about what I’m doing with my love. I was tempted to tell my love last week that it’s taken her a year but she’s finally gotten what she wanted with me… (as far as my faith). In one of our first emails/conversations she said that she was torn between her heartfelt desire to see me back in church and her equally strong impulse to sit in the parking lot and make-out with me. Alas, if believing in Christ means to throw away the “old” and everything is new, what does that mean for one of the chief reasons or catalysts for me even being there? As I was sitting there this morning I really got a taste of how incredibly difficult this has been for my love. And again, I found myself praying that if God is going to do this “right” than he better do something for my love and her marriage. This is getting very complicated. Well, it was always complicated, I just didn’t acknowledge it.

Then when I got here to the beach my love sent me a text-message (TM): “Happy Easter babe!” I replied with “I love u baby. Happy Day of new hope 2 u 2! 12 4ever!” Oh boy, life just keeps on happening. On the drive down here I was listening to the mix of one of the CDs I’d given to her, and I was getting all choked up over the Aerosmith tune, “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” Love is just not an orderly or methodical thing. JBB

Music: Age of the Broken Heart – Mark Heard – Ashes & Light