23 October 2009

Brian's Thoughts: Golden Sponge Cake (with creamy filling)

My friend and pastor I once worked with used to have a saying: People are like twinkies.

What he would go on to explain is that - like a twinkie - when people are squeezed, what is on the inside comes out. When a twinkie is squeezed, it doesn't make a decision about what kind of filling should come out of it at that moment; it has already been decided long ago by the filling that was placed in it.

Breck and I have often reflected upon our own reflections in the last few weeks and recognized the truth of that maxim. If at any time in our lives we have been squeezed it is now, and what we hope fills our thoughts and hearts are the result not of careful planning but knee jerk response. What is inside us is coming out.

What has come out is in large part the years of reflections, conversations and interactions with the people who have comprised our closest circles of community over the last several years. And because Breck and I have tried to be intentional about the kinds of community we develop, the people who comprise those circles are nearly all from our churches.

So when we are squeezed, what comes out is the the filling placed in us by our communities.

Squeeze us and The Rock in Columbia, MO, oozes out, where I worked for years and where we found each other.

Squeeze us and Kairos, West LA, squirts out, a church plant from the Rock where many of our closest friends went to commit being an intentional community together.

Squeeze us and Emmaus Way in Durham, NC, flows out, our first church in Durham where we developed many of our closest friendships in North Carolina.

Squeeze us and St. Luke's Episcopal Church comes out, where we learned what it is like to wait expectantly during Advent and mourn on Good Friday.

Squeeze us and University Baptist Church gushes to the surface, our church in Waco, TX, where we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of so many people we do not yet even know.

Squeeze us and Duke Divinity School, Pine Cove Christian Camps, First Baptist Churches (Aurora, MO, and Minden, LA), Baylor Department of Religion, family, friends and neighbors all come bleeding out of us, giving meaning and perspective to the trials and difficulties we now face.

Our response to this tragedy is a response decided long ago - when Sunday School teachers and campus ministers packed their filling in us, when professors and colleagues and family and the friends we have laughed and cried with have stuffed us up with their wisdom and words. All those in these communities have a stake in our story with Bennett.

Without them we would have collapsed long ago, for we would only have been filled with the filling a world unable find hope gives, which is no filling at all.


  1. i absolutely love this post! you hit it right on and i remember having the exact same feelings when we faced heart surgery with our little one! it is amazing to hear someone else's words and think they are your own! HA!

    and, even funnier, we lost our car in the hospital parking lot several times as well. my thoughts and prayers are with you still!

    may the Lord richly bless your trip home with little bennett. although that time must seem so scary and unknown- it will be so nice to take steps forward! we were nervous, but upon walking in the door, it struck me that we were finally whole... we had all our little ducks together!

  2. I'm so glad you've been blessed with such wonderful church families over the years!

  3. All this talk of twinkies and churches is great. But what I really want to know is this:

    If The Rock and Kairos West LA were a twinkie, what kind of creme filling would we have?

    My vote:
    The Rock - saucy strawberry (not your parent's twinkie)
    Kairos West LA - blue rasberry ( fruity... like SoCalers)

    What do you think?


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