Have you ever really looked at the footnotes, voluntarily? In high school we dreaded footnotes our senior year because our evil term paper required it. The eleven years prior to that point, we were only asked to type up a simple (yet in reality entirely inaccurate) bibliography. So why now? Why must we bludge through the painstaking process of numbers and real sourcing!? Screw accuracy, score quotes, all sources are mine! Riot I tell you, RIOT!
Oh, how the times have changed.
Now...I kind of like reading the footnotes. They are like a long running commentary to help me really understand what I am reading, plus they usually lead me to something equally interesting to read. So I encourage you to read your footnotes! Mark it on your daily list, along with brushing your teeth, plotting world denomination, and fighting for a better pay! It will fit right in I tell you. So I present to you a first for this blog, a series---"Found in the Footnotes"
Taken From Sex God By Rob Bell "God Wears Lipstick" note 13.
"Recently I saw my friend Josh, who teaches fifth and sixth graders. He was preparing the lesson for that day and had his supplies with him: a large glass bowl, a can of beef, fatty tissue, sauerkraut, a jar of olives, some anchovies, and a hundred-dollar bill. I know---I was curious too. So I did exactly what you would have done. I asked him what his lesson was about. He replied, "I put all the ingredients in a bowl, including the money, and then I mix it together. then when it doesn't taste good, I pretend I'm going to throw it all away. At this point the kids go crazy, telling me not to. I ask them why I shouldn't, and they say, 'Because it's valuable.' And then I counter with, 'But it smells and it's disgusting.' At which point they rush to the front volunteering to reach into the bowl and pull out the hundred-dollar bill. Actually, I may have to start using a twenty for this lesson, because the last time I used a hundred, they trampled each other to get to the front. I then read to them from Genesis chapter one about how every single human being bears the image of God and how no matter what else is mixed in there, a person still has limitless worth in God's eyes."
Some days, I need little stories like this as a real reminder of what I should be doing in my daily interactions. Customer after Customer comes in daily, and all I seem to be able to do is judge them more and more each day. I had to actually walk into the back room the other day because I wanted to slap myself for what my mind was doing. I kept judging this frighteningly shrill and creaky woman who comes in every day and is just impossible. She is an older woman of an indiscernible age with small wisps of peroxide blond hair poking out in random places. Normally she is disheveled in an almost non functional way causing me to wonder what she actually does with the rest of her day, and her voice cracks and creaks like an old door scraping a rough floor. Regularly in at an early hour, every day she orders a coffee in a cup the size up, today I got it ready for her as she was walking to the counter. Smaller mistakes have been made, but the reaction wasn't a good signal to that. She accuses me of trying to sell her old coffee, so she changes her order: "I want two medium coffees in large cups". We pour her two fresh cups and she throws her hands up: "I won't drink stale coffee!" and she runs out the door. This isn't even the first time this happens, but she still comes in day after day. I've heard the people at work say they hate her, and that she's a ridiculous old bat. Truth is, I've thought the exact same things over and over. I want to hate her, but that's just too easy. There's got to be something behind it.
I want to understand. I really want to know what causes someone to get so frighteningly disconnected from reality, and to be able to care for her the best a barista/christian can and just maybe help her have a better day than the day before. I actually want to make a customer happy! Maybe I'm just trying to understand this concept: god loves equally, the diseased, the downtrodden, the depressed, the happy...or maybe I have just been there myself.
Disheveled, disconnected, and discontent with my surroundings. Those people we distance ourself from really aren't that far off when you think about it.