We finally got Old Blue a new little brother. We (as in Tim) researched all the possible options in our price range. We (Again, Tim. I come down with hives when I have to do research on the internet.) checked all the safety ratings, reliability and possible longevity of certain cars. We narrowed our search down to a couple options, then we scoured craigslist and local dealerships. After losing out on some deals and the dealerships not taking our reasonable offers, we finally found the perfect car on craigslist.
Buying a used car is always a gamble. I’m a creature of habit so it’s hard for me to not feel like we are cheating on our beloved van. But sorry, girl, we need ac in the summer and it would be really nice to get more than 10 miles to the gallon.
After a test drive and some back and forth, we finally got the car. We bought it from a nice man, who we found out was a pastor at a local church. At the end of the transaction, Tim had to drive him back to his own house. Over the course of the drive, the topic of what he was preaching on at his church came up. Apparently, he had been doing a sex and sexuality series.
Side note: Strangers to close friends and everybody in between, just open up to Tim. The conversations that people have had with him blow my mind sometimes. I think it’s because he emanates non-judgement and he’s a really really good listener. All people just want to be heard instead of preached to or offered solutions to all their current problems. I completely suck at this. I learn more and more everyday from Tim on how to listen and support others.
So this pastor sounded like he was trying to teach his congregation about sex and sexuality through the lens of what he perceived to be “biblical truth” and current events. Red flags started to pop up during the car conversation. His next sermon titled, “What would Jesus say to Caitlyn Jenner?” went on to confirm that he would be promoting hate and fear mongering toward a highly vulnerable group of people.
It made Tim sad to hear that this was happening. I got all colors of mad when he relayed the interaction to me. I’m a slow thinker and it’s hard for me to process inteligiable words during a high risk conversation so I would have probably sat in that car fuming and trying to come up with my own point of view to preach back to that pastor. Tim, in all his infinite wisdom knew the right thing to say. He asked a question. “How do you think your church will react to hearing that message?”
I’m not sure if they had time to delve into the answer of that question because they had arrived at the pastor’s house and it was time for Tim to drive our car home. I really hope that pastor thought about that question. I hope it rattled around in his brain for the next few days as he was writing up his sermon. I hope he pondered if there were any LGBT people in his congregation. What would that message say to them? Would it tell them that they were welcome? That this church was their home? Would they feel the love of Jesus sitting next to them in the pews and from the pulpit?
What would Jesus say to Caitlyn Jenner?
I don’t think he would say anything at first. His arms would open, tears would leak and he would nod. He would see her. Welcome her. As soon as she settled into his embrace, he would whisper into her ear, “Oh honey. I know. Today has been a hard day.”
He would let her cry all over his shirt. He wouldn’t care that the mascara had transferred off her lashes onto his shoulder. His tears, her tears, mixing together. They would sit like this for a long time.
Then he would ask, “You hungry? I know of this great Mexican place, let’s go. The chips and salsa are to die for. We probably need to take a shot of whiskey together too. You look like you need one after today. I had to deal with some nasty hate-filled people today too. Come on, let’s go.”
That’s what I hope was preached. Probably not though, and that makes me so so sad. Both Tim and I know we probably can’t change that pastor’s mind. His head and heart are closed right now. But I have a feeling, there is some kind of hurt within him too. If we sit there and preach our conflicting ideas to him, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference. Our job is to stand up for the marginalized. Those on the outside, the hurting and stomped on. Our job is also to listen and ask those probing questions. I learned that from Tim. If there was any wiggle room in that pastor’s ideas about sexuality, that question would have hit him straight in the heart. The answer would have shifted his mind from thinking that his sermon was about an issue to the reality that his it was about people. People who are living in a world that won’t recognize them for who they were made to be. And some of those people were most likely sitting in his church. Or he interacted with them on a daily basis. Would his sermon change if it was about people in his own family? I don’t think he realizes it yet, but everyone is in our family. You, me, the pastor, Caitlyn, we’re family.
Family sits together and eats together. Family listens together and stands up together. Nobody is pushed to the side for who they are. I hope that pastor comes to realize that because his family needs him.
When the boys and I finished up our errands we pulled the van into the driveway. There was a weird car parked there. It’s going to take some time getting used to something other than Old Blue.
Later that night we had our End of the Season Baseball Party to go to. We decided to take the newbie out for his inaugural ride to pick up the pizza for the players. As I drove out of our neighborhood, I looked over to Tim and got all teary. “This is the shiniest, flashiest car we’ve ever had! And we saved up our hard earned pennies for years to get her. I’m so proud of us!!!”
And then we both giggled, because we might be the only people who think a used Honda is a luxury vehicle.
All day we had been brainstorming ideas for his name. Alfred, Leonard and Paul McCartney were some of the contenders. When Jack heard our over-emotional conversation, he decided our car’s name. “His name should be Flash.” Flash, it is. And the boys better like him because he will be their first car when they get their licenses.
The conversation had shifted and moved on while we sat at a stoplight. Then, BAM! A force propelled all four of us forward, bending our necks. Our heads struggled to stay with the motion, whiplashing back.
An SUV towing a boat had slammed into us from behind. A quick check proved that all four of us were okay, sore already, but okay. We pulled into a parking lot, Flash was still driveable, and we exchanged info with the other driver, also unhurt. Cops were called, an incident report filled out. Everybody was shaky and sore, but we all walked away from a scary, unfortunate accident.
Flash isn’t as flashy anymore, but he’s in the shop getting his shiny groove back.
I can hear Alanis singing in my head. Isn’t it ironic. We finally take the jump in purchasing a new car and it gets smashed up in the same day. How nice. Someone else makes a public statement, portraying the beauty and freedom that comes in finally acknowledging who Jesus made her to be, and the world responds by verbally punching her in the face.
I think we all just need another shot of whiskey with Jesus. I know I do after last week.