No matter your politics or religion, we can agree that things are tense and unsettled right now. We can likely agree that we do not know how all that is currently happening will play out in our country, our world or with us personally. Christianity is being bandied about in a myriad of ways and as a Christian pastor, I feel called to speak out. The problem is, I do not know what to say. People who disagree and who think I’m an anomaly of beliefs will only keep not understanding and shaking their heads. I don’t believe my words will change anyone’s mind.
I believe we need supernatural help. I believe we need guidance that comes from a greater power than any one of us.
I’ve just returned home from a few days with our precious seven month old grandson. He’s learning how to kiss. Do you remember how young babies kiss? They open their mouths wide and come at you. They can’t pucker up yet or smack their lips like older people do. When I ask my grand baby to give me a kiss, he understands me. It takes him a little while to act on it and then, he moves, mouth open, approaching my cheek like a sloth. When he delivers his kiss, it is all drool, super sloppy and the most delightful thing I know.
He will even do it on FaceTime. I ask for a kiss and slowly, sloth like, the screen changes from his face to his approaching wide open mouth. Those sloppy kisses anchor me. They bring me to the joy of the Present Moment. I know he won’t kiss like that forever. I know now that drool won’t kill me so I just savor it.
And, I think it is supernatural. It is grace. It is new life. This person who didn’t even exist before is now here, kissing me. This messiness is God in the daily sweetness of life.
A few days ago, awash in his sloppy kisses, I remembered a worship praise song called “How He Loves.” The song, in some versions, has this line “Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss.” The reason it is different in some versions is that evidently some people were uncomfortable singing about sloppy wet kisses in worship. To them, I say, “Are you kidding me?” This is it. This is faith. This is the supernatural colliding with this physical, pretty screwed up world. It is supposed to be messy.
In the new hit show, This is Us, which is a great show about real life, Kevin is explaining to his nieces about life through a painting. His painting is a collision of colors and textures, lines and shapes. It looks like this super colorful, vivid, rainbow explosion. Kevin tries to explain it and ends up saying “I think life is just one big, sloppy, colorful, magical thing that never ends.”
There’s that word again, sloppy.
Here’s what I’m trying to say as words pretty much fail me. These are uncertain, anxiety-ridden times. If we look too long or too hard on what is happening and what people are saying, we will be lost in anger, paralyzed by fear. We need supernatural help. That help is all around us and it is delivered, strangely enough in the sloppiest of ways. When heaven meets earth, there is messiness, drool and discomfort.
My prayer for all of us today is that we will stop in the chaos and receive a grace beyond us…like a baby kiss. It is the only way forward. .