Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dwarf Preacher

The Ooze, posts an article by Enzo Z. Brugueras A BRIEF HISTORY ABOUT A DWARF PREACHER. I've shortened the story a little... check out the link to read the whole thing.
I was somebody else.

During my young days I didn`t have the chance to be myself. Instead, I received a portrait of what I was supposed to be....

I was depresed.

Thinking back I don`t remember that anyone tried to connect me with Jesus at any time. They taught me things about him, and let know what he expected from me. But the person of Jesus was something very vague in those days....

I was small.

I didn`t show any signs of growing until my 17 birthday or something, so i remained my 5 feet (1.55 meters) for way too long. I started preaching at the age of 14. While the other kids were breaking the rules, I was teaching the rules to my older brothers in the congregation, and I as far as I remember I was good....

I was accepted.

Let me tell you that grandmas love me. They couldn`t stop pinching my cheeks, and all the ladies wanted me as their son-in-law. I was sad and still a stranger to Jesus, but I had acceptance. That seemed to work pretty good for both of us, the church and me. I put the show on, and they gave a safe emotional enviroment.

Finally me.

Well the dwarf finally grew up, and not only preached about “The Creation” or “Noah`s Ark”, but started to ask some questions:
Why are we so sure that the way we understand and live Christianity is right?
Why are we so fast to condemm others, even when we don`t know them?
Why are so many of the things that common people do, considered bad?

As the questions caused the audience to lose interest, the dwarf wasn`t funny anymore. As a matter of fact, he was annoying.

Just when I finally was able to be myself, and open my heart to show my disappointment, my fears, my anguish and doubts, my audience started to forget me. The pastors who had appreciated my work began to feel uncomfortable with me....

...Today, four years after choosing the exit door, I`m still trying to be myself, out of the boundaries of institutional church. I`m searching for truth with my family and a bunch of brothers and friends, people who know me and are crazy enough to still love me.

Today, I can live without my famous pre-fabricated-sunday-morning-stand up-comedy-jokes. For the first time in my life, I`m sure that Jesus died for me, and loves me so much. For the first time, I`m me and I`m not ashamed of that.

What is really sad about the story is... it's not unique. I've heard the story too many times. Oh, the details change, but the story is the same.
Be nice.
Don't ask difficult questions.
Don't be honest about disappointments & hurts
Play games.
Keep the rules and everything will be OK.

When I read the Bible, I get a different picture. Somethings wrong when we can "do church" and not really include Jesus. Somethings wrong when we can "do church" and we limit the Holy Spirit to things we are comfortable with. Somethings wrong when we can "do church" and not wear crash helmets.

Anne Dillard, in her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek writes:
"It is foolish to wear straw or velvet hats to church. We should all be wearing crash helmets. The ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares. They should lash us and strap us to our pews, for the living God may draw us out to where we can never return."

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