It’s not about the box, or the idea. Life is about People.

Snowday! This morning we woke up to heavy blankets of snow covering every inch of every surface outside. As I opened the front door to let my little one out I noticed the family Christmas newsletter we put a lot of time and money into got a little damp. I hope they are not ruined inside. If you are reading this and you get a newsletter and the ink is runny, let me know. I’ll just tell ya’ what happened this year. My kids have never seen snow. So they got all bundled up, grabbed the toboggan and went outside to have fun in the snow. Chris and I watched from the window and it became blazingly obvious that they didn’t know how to play in the snow. They walked around getting cold and sat on the sled like a picnic blanket. So hubby got all bundled up and went out to show them how to play in the snow. It was funny. I grew up in New Jersey and loved snow days. I ice skated on the lake by my house and knew how to throw a wicked snowball with the hidden rock inside. It was before I knew the Lord. It never occurred to me that my little Florida boys would be confused by the cold, frozen, powder-like substance. Might as well been the moon.

In other news, I became an aunt again last night. I have a baby nephew named Levi. He’s four hours away and hopefully I’ll get to see him soon. New life, so sweet. Another family member is due to have a little one in the next year and that’s awesome. And my brother got married last year so I am waiting for the phone call that he and his sweet wife are expecting. I love babies and pregnant ladies!

Last night was a bad night for me. I found myself wandering the isles of a big box store until late into the night because I couldn’t stand to be near myself and thought if I left the house I could somehow get away from myself. It didn’t work and I felt worse than ever. This complete absence of the Lord’s presence is getting old.

If it were not for the love of the people I know, even the ones I don’t know all that well, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed today. My husband has his Christmas vacation break today and tomorrow and so I planned on staying in bed. I planned on writing out all of the school assignments and notes for the next two years in case I decided to stay in bed. In case the sadness swallowed me up whole. Yes, depression has hit, but I don’t care about my children or their education any less. That’s how I know I’ll be okay. And my love for them and my husband is what got me up this morning. And the email I received from a friend unexpected is what got me to stay up a little longer and write. I need people. People are keeping me going right now. If you need it to sound Christian in order for it to register, we could say that the Lord is loving me through His people. But, it’s not only Christians keeping me going, so maybe He’s using them? I don’t know how it all works, only that my wold is spinning ’round thanks to people.

I’m trying to find the Lord. I am trying to see Him. I know He’s elusive, and He never promised we wouldn’t suffer, but I am looking for Him because I want this to end. So I reflect, because history repeats itself and we learn from history and looking back can shed a little light on what to do and what NOT to do. I was a radical free-thinker in the Christian community. It got me in trouble in the institution. Then I looked for Him in an out of the box situation. I found a small group meeting around the Headship of our Lord. Awesome. I was no longer a rebel. But what if those are not the only two choices? What if out-of-the-box and institutional are 2 choices within the vast amount of land, which is Christ?

Those are two fine choices and Christ is found in both, but what if the whole point of life is people? I am beginning to think that Christ is so concerned with us, with people, that the meetings, the lingo, the ways in which we do things are secondary. He died for us, not a cause, not a denomination, not an institution or and out-of-the-box idea. Jesus Christ is consumed and in love with people so much that He chose to make a Bride of His people and the Father made a home in our hearts for His Son. It’s the people who are the point. When I feel joy, it’s because people are born and people are connecting with me. When I feel pain and depression it because people have made mistakes and it cut so deep that the wounds may never heal (I’m talking about people that have committed felonies on me, not people who simply hurt my feelings).

Is Christ only in some of us? Maybe. If you believe that saying the sinner’s prayer means that now Christ is in you. I don’t believe that anymore. I think Christ lives in more people than I originally thought. I think that those who shun others due to their religious convictions are shutting out a piece of life, more of Christ. In one of my many out-of-the-box situations, religion infiltrated some of the relationships and everyone associated with one specific person seemed to shut me out. I knew this would be a possibility, because we want to believe in something. We want to have a method, a way, and certain something and if someone else doesn’t believe in that thing, we need to reject them or our “thing” isn’t as great as we want it to be. When Christ takes the place of methods and things, people are the most important and valued ones in our lives, not our pride, or the long-winded theory about the out-of-the-box idea that we built our lives around. When we build our lives around Christ Himself, people don’t get excluded.  Because Christ is in the business of people. I am meeting with a particular group of Christians because I want to be with people. Is it exclusive? No. The first Christians were not exclusive like that, they were inclusive. Do I believe everything they do? Heck no. I don’t believe in anything they do except that Christ is in people, He died for people, He loves people. He’s not an idea. He’s not an in-the-box or an out-of-the-box idea. And when people understand this, the depressed will have a reason to get up in the morning and the spiritually super spiritual spiritualists won’t have a reason to be ignorant of anyone Christ died for.

This is all I have to go on right now. Christ is hiding His face from me. It’s rough. And so I have people. They are getting me through and keeping me from saying “F-it all!”

I hope you have a grand Thursday and find Love that has nothing to do with a box.

Love,

Jackie

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