I’m supposed to love the idiots?

In a very light and slightly judgy situation, I was reminded of my favorite chapter in the entire Bible. I’ll leave it to you to look it up, but I’ll point you in the right direction at least… it’s between Psalm 140 and 146. There, that’ll give ya somethin’ to do after this!

The particular verse that came to my mind was one about God having compassion and mercy for everything He’s made. To confess honestly, I don’t have compassion and mercy for everything He’s made. This revelation came to light today at the dog park…

The story starts with me and my rule-following personality, which can definitely be a nuisance for me and anyone I annoy with my tattletaling. So I drive up to the dog park and within a stretch of about 60 or 70 feet of roadside grass, there are 2 signs which couldn’t say more clearly not to park on the grass. It’s not for me to understand why the city or county has made this a rule, but nonetheless the rule exists. So of course, there are going to be people that think rules don’t apply to them. The rebels.

Exhibit 1:

I happened to be parking (not on grass) as the black car pulled up to park. I immediately started making a mental list of burns I’d use about his idiotic disregard for the rules. Sidenote: I love making lists. I had time to cool off, though, while I was at the park with the dogs and that’s when I was reminded about God being patient and loving towards most things He made. Wait, I’m kidding, the Bible says all things. So if I’m striving to live a life pleasing to Him, I should be loving towards all things He’s made… but man some people make it a real chore! Like the owners of these two cars, who’s combined IQ, if converted to Fahrenheit, wouldn’t melt an ice cube.

And that red car is a Prius. Psssshhh, they don’t care about the earth at all, parking right on top of the lovely grass. #PriusFail

Later, I thought a better idea than using a snide remark would be to say something like, “Hey, not sure if you knew this but we’re not supposed to be parking on the grass.” Simple enough right? The tattooed Californian would then get all huffy and puffy (wouldn’t he?) and I’d explain by saying that “if we don’t abide by the rules set before us, that’s when privileges get taken away. You’ve been a 3-year-old before, right? It’s the same thing.” He’d be offended and for the rest of his days he’d think about how right he is for doing his own thing, for blazing his own path, for being a hero… or whatever.

But to circle back to the point of all this, I learned that even people that really annoy me are loved by God, and I should love them, too. Even if they’re idiots who drive a Prius or come from California.

-Out of the Wilderness

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A Love Story: Part Five

Before reading, feel free to get caught up here: A Love Story Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes this is all made up so please don’t congratulate me but do feel free to send me a Home Depot gift card as a wedding gift.

***

With the vows completed, I knew the moment was upon us. It’s funny, this part of the ceremony had me more nervous than the whole “till death separates us” part. It’s my father, anyway, that thought a fear of commitment was my problem. Turns out, he was partly right. I was afraid of committing myself to someone who was good. But now I’ve found great and with the smooth voice of Vince Gill, the guitar skills of John Mayer, and the certain come hither look of Johnny Depp, I began to sing. Acoustic-Guitar-1OK, that’s not completely true. My come hither look was more like Joey from Friends. But what was lost in talent was made up for in this being a surprise. That’s right. None but myself and a select few knew I was going to perform during the ceremony. Not even my soon-to-be wife knew. But hey, I love surprises. The idea came to me years earlier when a song grabbed me and didn’t let me go till I did something with it. The song was “All I Want Is You” and what I was doing with it was learning it on a borrowed guitar. No one in their right mind expected this from me because 1. I don’t play guitar, 2. I don’t sing, and 3. if I did either, it wouldn’t be front of an audience. But just after she finished her vows and the pastor prayed, I smiled and went to get the guitar. Forgetting that I was nervous, I looked towards the audience and shrugged my shoulders as if to say, “Here goes nothing.” Light chuckles from around the darkened room.

I tread my way through, rough but definitely sounding kind of, sort of, if you tilt your head a little, like the U2 song. After all, it’s not my talent or my desire to “make it big” driving me, it’s my heart. And to know this surprise might make her smile, that’s enough for me to say yes to doing something that terrified me. That smile, that smile is worth more than my comfort. I could barely look at her while I sang because I might forget the words, laugh, cry, or all three at the same time. But as I strummed the last note our eyes connected. That’s a moment I won’t soon forget. She looked so proud and happy. After setting the guitar back down, I joined her on stage, clasping her hands in mine. Meanwhile my brother made his way to the mic at the end of the stage. He read, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” That’s a couple of verses from Psalm 145. Then her sister, a bridesmaid, approached the mic to sing her favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art.”

At the time most couples would light a unity candle or pour colored sand into a jar, we opted to do both. We lit sand on fire and poured it in a jar. No, but that would’ve been cool, right? We brought bricks to each set of parents and had them signed. We told them that just like the 2 bricks will forever be part of our home one day, they will  be, too. That was her idea and I loved it since day one. She was full of good ideas. I learned that as early as our first date.

Check back soon for A Love Story: Part Six, which will reveal more about our first date.

-Out of the Wilderness