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You try to explain it.

March 8, 2005

I stumbled on an analogy while commenting on Homefront, Fajita’s blog.

My Aunt Pearl wears aluminum foil on her head. She does other things as well, such as calling the FBI to inform them that she is being spied on with tiny cameras in her lightbulbs. Due to her paranoia she will not eat often. She is afraid of being contaminated. It frustrates her that no one agrees that she is right.

A little story to illustrate:

One of my nieces brought her boyfriend to Thanksgiving at my mother’s house a few years ago. Amazingly his is now her fiance. You will see why it is amazing in a minute.

The family started arriving and they are quite a crew. I will concentrate on three of them.

First there is Aunt P. as we sometimes call her. Due to not eating she is not a seventy something woman who is mostly skin and a few bones. She had in her dentures that day. They are apparently too big. She was constantly clacking them as she dispensed her theories.

Then the family of my favorite uncle on that side of the family came in. His wife has become increasingly medicated in the later years of their lives. She was wound up this day. She informed all of being “clipped, dipped and dyed” She elaborated on her wax job in anticipation of her upcoming surgery. She went on to share about her father who was a preacher in Arkansas and all of his ladies. Those women threw themselves at him you know.

And there is their son. His is older than me, I guess he is in his late 40’s now. When he was born he would have been referred to as retarded. He is a precious soul to be sure. He has the habit of constantly rubbing his hands or his crew cut rapidly.

Well imagine me trying to explain all of this to David. How could I make it make sense. Too much family history and dynamics throughout my life to explain in a single setting.

How could I tell him that Aunt Pearl rejected the only man who probably really ever loved her. And the in her loneliness she so wants to be desired and loved. That she longs to be pursued. She wants the comfort of knowing there is one whose love will never desert her.

How could I tell him that my other aunt longs for the youth she once had. That due to a life of too much luxury, she had no purpose. No definable goal.

How could I tell him that my cousin; who says things and does things that are sometimes scary, sometimes disturbing, sometimes crazy; can’t help it. He was born into a situation that he didn’t deserve, but it is his situation.

How can I explain.

I find myself in this family and in this church tradition. A tradition that refuses to listen to music with God honoring lyrics if it uses instruments. Like my Aunt P. a group scared. A group malnourished because of refusing help from outsiders who know BETTER. Longing for security and love but not finding it in our correct theories.

I find myself in my Aunt longing for the youth of our movement when our cause was noble. When our purpose was just.

I find myself in my cousin, being born into a Restoration Movement heritage. Doing things that at times look scary, are disturbing and are crazy.

I can explain it all. But it still doesn’t make it look any better.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2005 4:59 pm

    the bad part is, amongst all the arguments pro or con…is that someone who means to honor God in some way could be “doing it” wrong?
    in order for one “camp” to be right does that make the other camp “wrong”?
    just because the Bible is silent on it doesnt mean it doesnt exist.

    I think of Jesus at the wedding. Weddings usually have music. Lots of happy music. He didnt get all bent out of shape and leave..he made more wine and stuck around.

    just my two cents…
    i think we all have an “aunt pearl” in our family..but that is what makes us FAMILY.

  2. March 8, 2005 4:59 pm

    the bad part is, amongst all the arguments pro or con…is that someone who means to honor God in some way could be “doing it” wrong?
    in order for one “camp” to be right does that make the other camp “wrong”?
    just because the Bible is silent on it doesnt mean it doesnt exist.

    I think of Jesus at the wedding. Weddings usually have music. Lots of happy music. He didnt get all bent out of shape and leave..he made more wine and stuck around.

    just my two cents…
    i think we all have an “aunt pearl” in our family..but that is what makes us FAMILY.

  3. March 9, 2005 10:33 am

    maryann,
    I think that I understand that inward heart motive is very important. In all seriousness it is possible to be wrong on something and someone else to be right. But for me my heritage (maybe unintentionally) taught me to focus more on being correct than to focus on being forgiven. I know that happens in lots of traditions. But the instumental music one is a easy target to illustrate.

    All fellowships do have an Aunt Pearl. That is what is so amazing about grace. Its OK for her to be present, even if it is sometimes unpleasant.

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