Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rock & Roll Girl

So, my wife, Angela and I were asked to lead the Grand March during our recent Resurrection Day Celebration. This is the beginning dance of our celebrations and demands of the participants only the ability to walk, turn while walking, and then toward the end, bowing and curtseying. No problemo, thought I.

As you might imagine, this being an event of high anticipation, most everyone was watching. It was when the sound engineers accidently played a blurb of the wrong music when things got crazy—or I should say; my wife got a little out-of-control. The music that was supposed to be Neo-Celtic, instead, blasted Rock and Angela immediately (involuntarily?) moved to the music. Yep, right there in front of everyone…twice, they got the music wrong, twice.

I did what I could, trying to block out this spectacle from the eyes of our youth (and my Session) but to no avail. Failing in this attempt, I started to wonder, Will I still have a job on Monday?

Thankfully, there is a general awareness that Angela does indeed, rock. She is atypical of the stereotyped expectations of a ‘Pastor’s Wife’ and that is not only why I love her but also why that she is loved by so many people. She is who she is; basically a Rock n’ Roll girl who became a Christian in her 30’s and at 50+ still acts, at times, like she’s 20.

This brought to mind the privilege I had a few years ago of sharing breakfast with Wendell Berry. This was the morning after a reading that he had given the night before at a local college. At that time the story he had read was one of his yet unpublished works, A Desirable Woman. I had so appreciated the reading that I asked him what had been the impetus for such a story. He replied that he had always wanted to write a fiction about a sexy pastor’s wife. Confident that we were on the same page, that he was trying to write outside of type towards antitype, I immediately remarked, “You should meet my wife.”  

‘Sexy’ of course is his description for ‘Desirable’ and in this (as in his story) there is a great need for a genuineness (under sanctification) that supersedes the stuffy expectations of the stuffy. I see this as best described by the term, Truly Human. Jesus was ‘desirable’ for many a reason of which one was that His behavior was not predictable to the stuffy.

Of course you never had to wonder if Jesus was mindful of seeking first the kingdom, of reaching out to the needy, or helping the broken hearted or giving of Himself sacrificially. He did all of this out of a deep-seated joy (Hebrews 13:1) and throughout the Gospels, unconventionally.

My wife is like that. If you knew all that she has gone through in our marriage while I was in seminary and doing college ministry and then for these last 16 years in the pastorate, you would marvel that she still feels like dancing. I gotta tell you, she acts the same as when I first met her and I really believe her ‘secret’ to still ‘dancing’ is that I have protected and preserved her genuineness more than any alarmist environmental group has for any eco-system out there that you can name.

Thankfully, she is not alone. Most of the ladies in our sacred community are ‘there’ as well and it is a marvel to behold. As I have occasion to travel, I notice that we are not alone in this and that is momentous.  

Christian women should be unfettered and unflappable. (This can be, of course, embarrassing to their husbands at times.) Their joy of life before God should be unmistakable. Their person and service to others is then easily genuine.

Rock on, ladies.    


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