I’m never a better friend than I am at 2AM.
I’m not terrible during daylight hours. Coffee at mid-day is great, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the clock, as we both have someplace else we need to be. At 6:30, I’m both hungry and a bit exhausted. We’ll talk over dinner, and I’ll be genuinely interested. I’d also like my food to arrive. We probably have to be up for work in the morning.
Not too infrequently come the conversations that begin later in the evening, standing in the parking lot after a meeting, or over the remnants of dessert when the rest of the crowd has gone. At 10:30 I want to banter with my inner circle. “Remember the time…?” “Could you believe…?!?” “…knights who say, ‘Ni’…” Did I mention I have Ghostbusters committed to memory? Wanna hear it again?
But every so often the conversation goes past midnight. It’s never planned – a serendipitous moment. Clearly I like you. And I’m too tired for banter, but I wouldn’t miss the chance to really talk. I’m entirely interested to know what’s on your mind. And if I’m here with you this late, it’s how you know I’ll tell you the unadulterated truth about what’s going on in mine.
At 2AM I really listen. Whatever thoughts I have, they’re yours – to do with as you please. I won’t try to persuade you. I won’t force a debate. I promise you won’t get the party line. Here is my humble $.02 on life, the universe and everything.
So, as best I can, I hope to make this a blog about what I’d say about the Christian life at 2AM – the straight story as I see it.
If you want to ask a question, I’ll do my best to answer it. Otherwise, the plan is to cover as many bases as I can: the Bible, theology, church history, ethics, the life of spiritual formation…whatever else comes up.
If you’ve been a Christian a long time, you probably already know a good bit of what I’ll say. Perhaps I can offer a new thought or two. And I hope you’ll share yours. When we disagree, it’s between friends. I make no claim to have it right. All this is just one man’s opinion, sincerely offered, in the hope of being some help.
If “Christian” is not a label you claim, I’m honored by the gift of your time, and I hope you will feel entirely comfortable to pull up a chair. I promise, no sales pitch is headed your way. I just know that there are some aspects of the biblical story that get short shrift in the versions of Christianity that circulate in popular culture. And there are some facets of pop Christianity that have little to do with a biblical faith. And if there is something I can do as a scholar, and as a pastor, and as…a person, to articulate what God is really like (insofar as one person can know), to paint a three-dimensional, nuanced, humble picture, I’d like to.
I’d be the first to agree that churches, and the Christians of which they are comprised, often fall far short of the grace we claim to hold most dear. But God is worth getting to know. And that we can’t know everything, doesn’t mean we can know nothing. The gist is that God is good. And that, at the end of the day, the good guys win. And there is a lot of comfort and wisdom to be had in walking the spiritual road that begins here.
With that, on to the work at hand…