Well, we are home. After driving an accumulated 1300 miles or so over the holiday, we are home. Sleeping in our own bed tonight. Yes.
Began the week by heading to Santa Cruz to be with Holly's family. We were there from Wednesday to Friday morning. Came back to O-side and then headed out immediately for Vegas to see my mom and sis and her boyfriend. My sister's boyfriend, not my mom's.
So, to pass the time I got a library card Tuesday and checked out a book on tape. I wanted The DaVinci Code since Holly hasn't read it yet and I liked it so much... but it was checked out. (And the Library doesn't have that cool guarantee that Blockbuster does.) So I checked out Gilgamesh. Fascinating ancient Babylonian tale of these two guys and their adventures in a polytheistic world... I only listened to Disc 1 (of 4), but plan to finish the book later.
Holly's dad had The DaVinci Code on CD, so we borrowed it for the latter half of our travels. Yeah. Great book. Wonderful story, probing questions, fun wanderings between history and fiction.
I gotta tell you, one of my favorite themes of the book is that the church is not the only carrier/bearer of truth in the world. The book goes to many extremes to pound this point, and I think it is a worthwhile conversation to have with the book, with yourself, and perhaps with some friends... that perhaps God doesn't just use "The Church" to be his agent of truth and goodness in the world. Perhaps "The Church" is but a small part of God's work in this world. Hmm?
I was speaking with a friend earlier today, sharing with him this thought and he made a statement about how he wishes that there was a church where people who do not care about church or religion (but who are deeply spiritual) could go to belong and be accepted. And it struck me. The word 'accepted' implies that they are different. It implies the same thing that the world 'tolerate' does. That it is not an integration as much as it is an allowing of them to be there. Almost like they must be given a certain amount of time to get used to 'our way of doing things' or whatever. Accepted.
What if we created more places where people were valued and embraced? Where people can bring their 'crazy ideas' about life, faith, sex, and God and we can value what God is teaching all of us? Not just 'accept' those whose opinions are different, but actually seek to see life as they do? To try to value their eyes, ears, and thoughts about the world in which we live.
Embrace: It's the new Accept.