Have you ever seen someone approaching you on the street that looked a little disheveled, a little frustrated or angry, and they were muttering to themselves, completely unaware of what was going on around them to a point that you were frightened enough to cross the street? That person was probably a writer.
I have learned, throughout the past year, that writing changes the way you think. Gone are the days when I could enjoy a moment with friends, with nothing else in the back of my mind. Now, every time I go anywhere or do anything, I’m always thinking “can I write about this?”, “would this be funny?”, and “how would I describe the atmosphere of this bar without sounding like a pretentious hipster?” I also take no joy in the fact that people always compliment me on how funny my Facebook status’s are and how much they enjoy reading them. You know why? I put a lot of energy into that crap! Those are like mini novels people, sometimes I stare at the screen for 15 minutes, or spend a good 10 minuets editing a sentence so it’s worded just right, before posting. Sometimes I go days without posting one, because I feel like I have nothing funny to say. It’s kind of stressful, but mostly pathetic.
Naturally, I struggle sometimes with wondering if I’m really doing the things the I’m doing because I want to/it’s the right thing to do, or because I know it’d make a good story to write about later. There have been times I’ve been in a really lazy, don’t want to do anything but watch hours of TV mood, and only left the house because someone invited me to do something that was different enough that I thought I had a chance to at least get a good Facebook status out of it. Like the time I went deep sea fishing. At night. I think my story involved some type of vomit (it wasn’t one of my best.)
But every once in a while, something comes along that’s so awesome, unique, incredible, and other hyperbole words, that you just know it’s going to give you endless things to write about. And sometimes, this thing is also so amazing that you want to do it for other reasons than just writing. You want to do it because it’s scary, in that good, this could go either way scary, and because you know that it will cause you to grow. Before you get any ideas, no I’m not getting married, Ryan still hasn’t “put a ring on it” so sorry Mom that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m moving. Not to a new city, or state, but to a new house, about 3 miles from where I am now. It’s exciting because I’m moving from my 3 bedroom 2 bath house that I share with one roommate, into a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house that I will be sharing with 4-6 people, two married couples, and a potential single or two. This house used to belong to our church, so it’s a really good size, and the room I am getting is almost twice the size of the one I have now, with FIVE windows, that all face the street. That’s not what I am most excited about though. The reason I am so excited is because I am, for the first time in my life, going to attempt Biblical “community living.”
Don’t worry, I can hear you laughing and patting yourself on the back for seeing me as a crazy hippie communist all along. Well, I didn’t get this idea from Marx or Stalin, (it wasn’t actually my idea at all, I got invited into the house) but from the Bible. In Acts 2, verses 42-47 it says:
“42 They (the early Christians) devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
That’s the idea behind the house. The (to start out with) 4 of us are going to live in one common place, share meals, meet together, pray, and try to fill needs we see in the community. We are moving into a house right near the center of the neighborhood, and we want to make a presence, not as “Christians”, as in, “oh, watch your language around those weird people who always corner you and try to tell you about how you’re going to hell. They’re the ones in corduroy.” But as people who are normal, and SHOW the love of Christ more than we speak it. I’m scared about that part, since I’m way better talking about stuff than doing it. I could write a whole book on powerful ministry without ever actually talking to anyone. Does that make me evil? Maybe, but hey, at least I’m being honest.
Here’s the thing though. I’ve been stressed a lot for a variety of reasons, the big ones being money, not having enough free time to write, and feeling kind of alone amongst a family (besides my parents) whose whole way of thinking is alien to me and goes against every thing I believe. And this is why God’s awesome: the house I will be moving into will be at exactly half the price I am paying now for rent/utilities, the people I’m moving in with decided that, while they like cable, it’s a majorly unhealthy time suck, so my Lifetime marathons can now be replaced with actual writing, and finally, instead of living with someone, who, while she has been a good roommate/landlord, I have not really felt close to since we have no mutual friends/beliefs, I’ll be living with 4 someone’s who have very similar thoughts and beliefs on what life should look like, and what we want out of it. And their just so cool too.
It’s obvious too that this situation is going to be rife with writing opportunities. People will find it strange and freaky and weird, married and single people living in the same house, so they’ll probably want to read about it. They will find it weird that we plan on having lots of couches and backyard furniture, so we can always have people from the neighborhood over. They will not understand why we’d want to share our things with each other, or strangers. Which is totally normal, to be curious or think it’s weird. It is. It’s untraditional.
That’s why I’m so excited. Because it goes totally against, “The American Dream” of working hard enough, saving up enough, and being successful enough that you can own your own house, filled with your own stuff, that you paid for with your own money, that you earned all by yourself. I don’t want any part of The American Dream, not because I hate America, not because I’m a Communist, and not because I hate freedom, but because I’m a Christian, and Christ is very clear that to follow Him, you have to go against the culture. Does that mean anyone who owns a home filled with furniture they bought is not a Christian? No of course not, all it means is that if your goal in life, if the things you put your value, worth, and energy into, is the collection of wealth and goods, than you’re going to have a really hard time loving God. Might as well go buy a camel and a needle and get to work.
I’m getting preachy, so I’ll stop. Obviously, I’m excited, and I can’t wait to see what God does, and how he’s going to use this. I already know that one of the guys I’ll be living with used to live in Boystown, Chicago, which is like Gay Mecca, and he has a lot of experience doing ministry to the LGBT community, so that’s definitely going to be an awesome resource to me.
So much potential. But first, bombing the place for bugs. First comes Raid, THEN comes Jesus (I think that’s in Romans?)