red + yellow = orange, any 5 year old knows that.
But life is messy. and hard. SO hard.
I'm joining life again after attending the Orange Conference 2016 #OC16 this past week. We (a Sunday School teacher & friend/family and previous youth chaperone) went to Atlanta Georgia. We left Monday Night due to the chaos of storms heading to the midwest and arrived back home Saturday Evening. So, it was a WEEK of processing and expecting and being away from our NORMALS that has created this twister inside me.
I LOVED the Conference and cannot wait until next year's event to attend along with the Tour coming to Indianapolis this fall. It's so rejuvenating to be among people who want to invest into babies, children, youth, and families. It's great to be able to FULLY worship without watching the worship leader for song cues and hoping just this once I can get my in-ear moniter on and in place BEFORE he starts the song, or that my drum sticks aren't going to slip out of my hands from sweat, or that my youth aren't misbehaving again in the front pew for ALL to witness. (or is that just me)?
But then. THEN I come home. I print bulletins at 8pm Saturday Night for a 10am Worship on Sunday because I've been gone all week. I check e-mail and voicemail and we remove the church marquee word because it is still advertising last Sunday's Concert.
Sunday arrives. Normal.normal. Extra hugs from my youth because they've missed me.
Monday arrives and it ALL hits me. Notes. Memories from the weekend. Song titles from Sessions. And the recap video makes me want to stay in this bubble of happiness.
and then in an ACTION move, I text my youthies (yes, DURING school)! I tell one I'm praying for her day. I respond to a daily HEY text, and send another text about how to help graduation transition.
and Boom. Not the response I even saw coming. I'm reminded that this bubble isn't forever and MONDAY has come. I'm reminded I'm back in the city dealing with real problems and people and life is messy. It's not even 9:30 am yet.
I spent a week in a few hotels checking out Louisville, Atlanta, and Nashville in our travels. I slept in cozy fluffy beds that would make anyone sleep. I ate picnic lunches in the shade, free breakfasts, and macarons and steak for dinner. I lived like I wasn't in the city, yet I was there, in three distinct cities all week long.I didn't see the cities. I saw the shiny Turner Stadium, Lifeway Headquarters, Nashville's Rock and Roll Marathon remnants featuring TobyMac, and still didn't see the cities.
I came home and I saw the city. I learned that 1 in FIVE people living in Indianapolis knows hunger, including some teens I love dearly. I came home from work today after stopping at Redbox to see people in a car BEHIND my house doing drugs. I came home and learned that 20% of Jesus' lineage was step-parent families. Messy Grace.
So while I still have plenty of thoughts and ideas to pull me through this conference bubble, I feel it's been popped way too early for my taste.
We discussed Judges in Sunday School. and I feel like I can relate to those times. Today in Indiana we vote for the next President in the primaries. The Marine did his research about the candidates and I've done my due diligence as a citizen and we'll take to the polls and vote which way God has lead us to individually. And we pray. We pray for the messy grace around us.
We pray for the all the mess that has arrived around us since moving to Indianapolis and living among her people in the city.
We pray for the Bestie family because while we were safe at home last night, her family was not and she's among the suburbs. and I pray for the cars broken into in the "rich" suburbs of other church leaders.