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Visiting different pasture, washing feet, and time warping

Hey der ya der hey der.  Busted the gates and committing sheeply mischief in Northeast Wisconsin.  Grew up 30 miles south of where my carcass is currently parked, and get up here every now and again to visit family and take care of business.  In this case, visiting brother in Titletown USA, had him rebuild my desktop, and claiming furniture from parents which is currently being refinished.  I’ll be coughing up sanding dust for weeks.

Time warping.  As I remarked to my brother the other day, coming back here, and especially driving through certain towns, feels like I’m traveling back in time.  Life here is very different than it is in the Windy City.  Pace of life is slower and there’s different things that tend to occupy people’s time.  Certain landmarks from my youth still exist, almost in the exact same form.  Just the weathering of time is noticeable.

And yet…time marches on.  Went to visit a high school buddy today and we met up at a diner that’s been around since we were kids.  It’s still in the same place, but the roads leading to it have completely changed.  Old stores torn down, new ones in their place.  Road reconfigured in spots.  I was unsure exactly how to get there but did manage in the end.  Was a trip traveling through an area where the past has been all but erased though.

In either case, one point is solidly driven home:  This is not where I belong.  I mean, I’m a weirdo and don’t completely fit in anywhere…but I truly feel like an alien here.  Even when I don my Packers gear, something still doesn’t feel quite right.  Other people wear their swag too…

…but they walk different, talk different, just ARE different than me.

Like this last weekend.  My brother has been talking for some time about attending Green Bay Community Church.  On Sunday, I made sure to insist that we go.  I can’t do Sunday morning without church anymore.  So we went.

About as different from my home church as one could get.  I did not see one non-white person in there…and considering the congregation was at least a couple thousand strong, that was intriguing to me.  Service was good…it turns out they need another A/V person and my brother is gifted in that area, so he’d be able to lock in there…but it was just different to what I’m used to.  I’m used to knowing everyone’s name and seeing every God-drawn color of the rainbow.  Good church to visit, just thankful to call FCC home.

Home.  The parents are still in the same house they’ve been in since the mid ’80’s.  Both of them in rapidly declining health.  Went over there Tuesday with intent of a quick stop-by on the way to the family estate for more work on the above-mentioned furniture…when requests for help were given.

My sister-in-law and myself ended up assisting with household chores, and we plus my brother ended up hauling some fitness equipment up from the basement.  A quick stop turned into 4 hours of sweating and swearing.

It was washing feet.  Tasks were unpleasant but necessary, and neither of my parents was up to doing them physically.  The fact that my brother and I jumped right in without hesitation is a testament to God’s healing power in our lives.  Both of us had a lot of strife with the parents growing up, and I actually did not set foot in that house for 10 years.  Had they asked me to do those things 7 years ago, they would have gotten a point-blank “go to hell”, and my brother probably would have responded similarly.

Forgiveness goes a long way.  It creates a heart with a desire to serve.

I know I have much growing to do as a Christian, but that day encouraged me…it’s evidence that some change has taken place, in an area that was a stronghold for years.

This trip was worth it for that alone.  Still have until Monday night to see more miracles happen.

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