10.23.09

How real are we?

Posted in church, culture, kids, ministry at 11:46 am

I’m getting to know a new group of parents. Our oldest started soccer this year, and so I have tried to hang around during practices to get to know some of the other moms and dads. There’s one woman in particular who is kind of outspoken and generally puts on a good show for us every practice.

Last night she was talking about a website that said we are going to have an earthquake this weekend. Some of the parents were really listening to her, but most were rolling their eyes. But she said something that really make me think. She said if an earthquake happens, she’s running down to the bottom floor of her apartment so that she can “die with all of the rest of the sinners – at least you know who they are.”

I think she was implying that the buon crisitano (the good Christian) is just a big faker. It’s not possible for the real people, the work-hard-for-a-living people, the kind of people she can relate to, to have a faith: the two things are just incompatible.

I hope that can’t ever be said about me and my life. I seek to be the kind of person that people can relate to, who knows what real life is like. And at the same time I seek to grow in my faith – a faith that is authentic and genuine. If those two things don’t match up in our lives, then I think we will forever be branded as an irrelevant bunch of fakers.

10.22.09

Getting Settled In

Posted in Ancona, church, culture, Team at 12:16 am

The transitions are always weird. We kind of have our feet in both America and Italy. We love both places, and if you asked us where “home” is our answer would really would depend on the day and how we’re feeling about things.

We made it back to Italy safe and sound. Our apartment was cleaned and ready for us (thanks team!). Our car insurance was turned on – though somehow gremlins got in and ruined the transmission while we were gone. The church welcomed us back with the usual hugs and kisses alla Italiana. But somehow things seemed different.

It was a little like we were on the outside looking in on everything. Ministry and church life obviously goes on without us. It’s not like people are sitting around and waiting for us to get back. But it takes a while to get back into the rhythm of life. And the transition was in some ways a little uncomfortable.

But slowly, things are seeming more normal. The routine of school / sports / Bible studies / prayer times / classes / etc. is starting to take over. We’re renewing our friendships and our apartment seems like home again. It all reminds us that neither here, nor there, is our true home.