We bought patio furniture for Meg’s birthday. The boxes were too bulky and heavy to carry around back, so I opened them in the driveway and the kids carried pieces. Ivy was on trip two, while Phoebe slowly meandered with her first piece. I was soon ranting, “if you don’t beat Ivy back you are carrying the rest by yourself!” Thankfully Phoebe sped up, but the tone for the evening was set.
All in the back, we were slowly putting pieces together. Of course the project was more complicated than expected and not all the pieces fit easily (no wonder people buy the floor model!). Soon the sun was setting and we were working by motion lights. I sent Phoebe to get an extra hex wrench from my tool box. “Red box, middle drawer, just bring the whole set…” It was a looong time before she returned (see top paragraph), but before I could react she was explaining:
“I got into your black tool box, you know the one with all those circle things…” “I said red, hang-on, you mean sockets?…” “Yeah, those things, they spilled all over the floor…” “What?!”
My forehead vein was starting to throb, but I actually held it together and sent her back to pick them up… then, as I carried a half assembled chair, “Ivy, move.” She responded with “why?” So much for holding it together… and I wasn’t even mad at Ivy.
Hex wrenches have six sides. Hex means six, of course hex also mean “curse”. The number six is what happens when creation forgets God (missing seven, no sabbath). Which explains why build it yourself furniture uses hex wrenches… the experience leaves us cursing.
But the true curse is when my anger runs over onto my family. They are not who I am angry with (you, know, when they aren’t meandering!) and honestly, I am not really angry with the furniture. It is all from earlier in the day… I listened to part of the insurrection committee, there is a confused building project at church, my social feeds are packed with divisions and hate, and – when I want to write a powerful message – my mind doesn’t have the (any?) answers …
This bubbles until I am boiling over at my beloved family. I am the hex, the wrench in the work of God’s good creation… I am the one in need of Jesus.
The summer series on John has us in chapter seven. The chapter feels so random, hard to grasp the point. But it is really about the crowd, and crowds are hard to understand. There is a mix of confusion and anger and crazy statements and violence (doesn’t it sound like modern crowds?!!). But in the midst of this is Jesus. Part of the crowd shouts, “you are demon-possessed”, others wonder and debate his home, others try to seize him… but Jesus says, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”
Into the chaos, Jesus offers grace. This water is what I need to drink! (It is the water my family needs me to drink!)
Join us at Chandler on Sunday at 10:30. In person or streaming live. Come as you are — you will find me just as I am — and together we will meet Jesus, just as He is, Full of Love.