Today was a sweatpants day. It seemed like everybody was wearing sweatpants, so I didn’t feel so out of place when I walked out of my dorm sporting my black Pratt sweats and Ugg boots. 🙂
I think fall is finally here to stay. There will be no more of this high school drama going on between summer and fall. Summer has finally left and because of this fact, fall has decided to stay. Finally, we have some understanding between our seasons.
I went to my first off-campus book reading today. I went to Greenlight Books Bookstore on Fulton St. to listen to Irishman Kevin Barry read out of his novel Dark Island, a collection of his short stories. He started out with explaining the different terms used in his book: caravan meant trailer, boggart meant hillbilly, and so on and so forth. The theme of the anthology was basically that we, as humans, are always feeling displaced; we never feel as if we’re ever at home.
Kevin Barry currently lives in Montreal, Canada. My first impression of this man was that he looked like Arthur Weasley but had the personality and physical movements of Professor Moody with the same crazed look in his eye. One of the quotes I derived from this reading was “I find notebooks deeply weird, but I carry one around just so I can feel like a pro,” which I thought was an interesting perspective.
As I stood in the back, listening to the thick accent of this writer, I suddenly wondered what I was doing. I suddenly became painfully aware that I was in a place I just didn’t want to be. I wanted to be listening to Karen Kingsbury, or Robin Jones Gunn, or Frank Peretti. I wanted to be somewhere where I would gain knowledge that would grow me rather than damage me. I felt very tired of being beaten down by vulgarity and by perverseness and by irreverence for all things sacred. I just wanted to be in a place where I could be built up rather than torn down. My own mistakes and desires and mess-ups were pulling me down, and I wanted to be in a place where someone who loved me would pull me up.
I had gone to the reading with one of the people in my major (we’ll call him Adrian) because the reading was at 7:30pm and I didn’t want to go alone. Adrian and I walked back and met up with some more writing people. After talking for a while about what readings we had gone to, Christianity, and food, we all went to the pizza shop on campus and hung out for a good hour. I talked with one of the girls (we’ll call her Tiana) who had once told me she was a Christian. We talked more in depth about how difficult this whole experience was, and, while I didn’t necessarily feel encouraged, I at least didn’t feel totally alone in this struggle of mine.
All of the writing majors are going to IHOP tomorrow for breakfast, which I’m really super insanely excited about because I want real blueberry pancakes and bacon somethin’ fierce. Next week Charlene and I are going to Chinatown to shop for a dress, which is another thing I’m really super insanely excited about because I’ve never been to Chinatown. When we were planning the trip she apologized because her Chinese isn’t very good. I gave her a look and said, “Your Chinese isn’t very good? At least you look Asian. I’m a Frenchie-American girl.” She laughed at that.
Hopefully in the next couple of weeks everything will be better; things will be more “normal,” whatever “normal” is. I don’t know how God can possibly use me when I mess up so badly. I don’t understand how He can use such a hypocrite. I hate feeling like I just became the representative of the Christian stereotype of hypocritical judge, the very stereotype I’m trying to destroy. I just don’t feel like I deserve God; I don’t deserve to talk to Him the way that I do, communicate with Him as freely as I do, or be wooed and saved by Him the way that I am on a daily basis….
But that’s the point.
If I was perfect, then I wouldn’t need God. But I’m not perfect, and that’s why I need Him. It’s in these moments, when I trip and fall on my face in front of people I was trying to encourage and whose trust I was trying to keep, that God can shine through. This is what Paul means in 2 Corinthians 12, when he talks about being strong when he’s weak.
“But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 (ESV).
I mean, I’m not happy about what I did…in fact, I feel like an immature doofus and a terrible friend. But I guess I had to mess up sooner or later so God could remind me why I’m here…so He could remind me that I’m human. So in this way I will boast. I messed up so my “polished perfection” facade could be knocked down and so God could be seen. Oh man I feel like a doofus. But I’m still God’s doofus. He still loves me, even though I get emotional, immature, distressed, dramatic, and totally nonsensical.