“Think of one friend you know that you can invite to the Peep Roast and send them this card.”
I looked down at the ground, I casually glanced around at everyone else thinking and writing and I choked in the death pause of uncertainty.
I couldn’t think of one person.
The truth hit me hard, painfully hard and it ached in places I didn’t know I could ache.
Here is my reality right now, I live in a Christian bubble.
No one put me here, it just happened because I let myself get comfortable.
And it’s revolting to me. It’s against everything I believe to be true about the gospel.
My kids go to Christian school. My neighborhood all goes to the church we helped start in our local area. I see the same people day in and day out. And I love this community with all my heart, but sometimes I need to get out of it a little too.
How can you invite new peeps to the Peeps Roast when you don’t know any?
When your husband is a pastor and you are a Christian writer, every conversation begins with, “Come check out our church.”
But I invite people so casually, I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s like “How are you?”–or some other greeting I drop like I don’t really mean. It’s just a rote expression I do by routine.
When did I stop being intentional about meeting new people that are different from me?
I will never forget the night Tim when asked me where I wanted to go to dinner and I replied “Mutt Lynches.”
He looked at me like I was cray-cray, because Mutts is a rowdy bar on the boardwalk of Balboa Penninsula. I was pregnant at the time and could barely stomach the smell of beer, barf, or people in general.
But I nodded yes vehemently because my intuition or (prompt from God) was powerful.
That night we met a group of guys and one in particular we connected with. Over too many beers on his part, he confided that his wife had filed for divorce and served him papers that day. He had come home to an empty house void of his little ones and all he held dear.
He started to tear up as he shared that he deserved it. He had put his family’s needs below his quest for success and climbing the corporate ladder. He had erroneously believed they would always be there until they weren’t.
His friends had taken him out to tie one on. But it wasn’t helping. It just magnified the pain. His friends were stunned at his admission but too drunk to know what to do.
Then he jumped up and ran out the bar.
Tim and I huddled up and decided that Tim would go after him and I would stay with all my sweet drunk friends who would protect me or vice versa.
Tim found the guy walking towards the water’s edge.
Tim walked up and asked if he could pray with him and the guy collapsed on the beach weeping.
“I was ready to kill myself,”he confessed. I was going towards the water to drown myself. I cried out to God, “If you are real, give me one sign that you love me.”
“And you found me.”
They spent a long time on the sand simply crying out to God together and lifting heavy hearts, as the waves crashed and I played beer pong with iced tea back in the bar with the guys.
We later heard from the guy that he was working hard to repair his family. He thanked us over and over.
But the gift of that evening was just as profound for us as it was for him.
I, we, want to be available when God is moving. I want to get my hands dirty and wipe the tears of the broken and spiritually wounded.
And I don’t think staying comfortable is helping.
It’s probably time to start venturing out and hanging out with some rowdy folks again. Maybe you need to get your hands a little dirty again too?
Maybe no one has invited you to an Easter service this year? Can I?
Saturday March 26th at 5:00pm
Easter Service at Mariners Mission Viejo (with our annual Peep Roast following the service)
26862 Crown Valley Parkway, Mission Viejo