Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Friend and The Nearby Church

I have a friend who is amazing.  She's poised and collected.  She always says the right thing AND does the right thing.  She's sweet and kind.  She'd make the perfect Disney princess and I've always wished I could be a bit more like her.

I'm not collected though.  I try to act poised and instead fumble while cracking jokes.  I laugh really loud and then talk about crazy things.  My friend would never talk about woman balls, or fart, not like I do.  When she was school president and homecoming queen, she won because everyone knew they could count on her to be amazing.  Was I homecoming queen?  No . . .  I didn't even try; I was too busy hiking and dying my hair with kool aid.

So, needless to say, my friend isn't like me.  I've tried to have more things in common with her.  This doesn't all stem from the fact that I really look up to her, it's that I wish we were better friends.  I want to hang out with her, be friends like in those black and white movies.  That would be neat.  We could sit in our civil war gowns and talk over tea.  We'd reminisce about some book we read and some quilt we'd just finished.  I'd laugh about her beau and she'd giggle about mine.  That's how things would have been if I was born years ago and my friend and I had more in common.  But I was born in the 80's and some things just aren't meant to be.

Anyway, I decided to go visit her yesterday.  I straightened my hair, put on some nice clothes and told myself I wouldn't say anything crass.  I'd be sweet and reserved.  I'd be the kid-sister I bet she always wanted, but when I got to her house, my plan failed miserably because she wasn't home.

I called her.  "Where are you?" I asked kindly.

"At the copy store.  I'm so sorry.  I didn't know you were coming."

"That's because it was a surprise," I said.  Twas a shame.  I told myself I'd come back later.  I had to, or I'd done my hair for nothing!  I hung up the phone and that's when The Zombie Elf told me he had to pee.

"Not now, sweetie," I crooned.

"Yes, mama! Yes, now.  I pee at Auntie's house."

"She's not home."

"I pee car?"

"NO!"  I stepped on the gas and squealed from the driveway.

"I pee.  I pee."

"No," I sang, "you don't."

"I pee road?  I pee car."

"Not on the road.  Not in the car.  I do not like pee near or far."

"Not in the house.  Not with a mouse?"

"Not in a house, or with a mouse, I do not like . . ."

So, that's not exactly how the conversation went, but it was pretty damn close.

 I swerved around a corner.  We waited at a T in the road.  "I pee road."


"Oh, I pee car!"  Glee filled his boyish eyes.  He smiled at me like he knew he'd won.

I nearly cried as I looked to the left.  I swore that my perfect friend was driving closer!  If I didn't act fast, she'd see me.  The Zombie Elf would be covered in pee and I'd say some stupid joke.  She wouldn't want to talk to me for a year . . .  I stepped on the gas and turned right.  Sure it wasn't a smart decision, but it saved me from heartache!

I sped down the road.

"I pee!"

"You won't."

"I pee road."

I looked everywhere.  There was no place for him to go.  His face turned red in the backseat.  He pulsed with frustration.  "Ahhh!" I screamed.  "There's nowhere . . . to . . . stop."

A light shone from the heaven's, I swear it did because suddenly, I saw a church on my left.  Sure we couldn't stop near someone's house, but my boy could have privacy in the empty parking lot.  I turned in.  The Zombie Elf looked like he was about to explode.  I parked, threw the door open.  We looked from side to side.  The only person around was some lawn maintenance guy on the other side of the church.

"Pee," I told The Elf.

"I can't."  He pointed to the church as if he knew I was making him commit a crime.





"I'll give you some gum."

He smiled and that's when the golden stream flew.  Too bad it happened right as the lawn maintenance guy decided to come convert us.  I put The Zombie Elf back in his seat and we barely avoided a bad thing.

The man came up to me.  "Are you a member?"

"Me?  No.  We've never seen . . . this place in our lives."

"Ummm . . .  You may not have seen this place, but God, He's been watching you."

What in the heck was that line?  Was the lawn guy moonlighting as a priest?  Was I supposed to confess to him?  I shirked back.  I'd committed a sin.  The guy walked closer, almost stepping on the watered grass.

"You know what I'm telling you?  God, He's been watching you."

"That's great."  He was getting closer to the pee spot.

"I like . . . God.  I can tell you do to?" I asked.

"You're acting awfully strange.  I think there's a reason God brought you here.  Is there something you'd like to share?"

"Well."  I stared at the guy.  "Do you have any background with this sort of thing.  Are you a pastor or a bishop or something?"

"God can use anyone.  His tools are many and His lessons are . . . many."  He smiled.  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive."

I thought about the wet grass he'd just stepped in.  I'd made my son pee on church property.  I gazed into that man's eyes.  I sent him a mental message, you're stepping in pee.  He tilted his head, obviously not getting the message. Maybe he wasn't as close to God as he professed!

"I've bought a ticket to Hell."

"And Jesus has ransomed that ticket."

"He ransomed something He knew I would buy?"

"He knows everything."

"So you're one of those Calvinistic people?"


"You believe in predestination, that God made some of us even knowing we would fail."

He nodded.  "Well, yes.  I guess."

"That's messed up."

"Wait . . . what?  Well, He knows everything."

"Even if we're going to fail?"


"So, you think He sets some of us up to fail."

"Yes . . . ummm . . . no."

"He created us, knowing if we'd eventually go to Hell, but He made us anyway?"


"So you think He set us up to fail?"

"I guess . . . no.  Wait, I'm confused.  Where is this going?  I just wanted you to become a member!"

The poor man's shoulder's slumped.  He trudged back to his mower .  I'd snuffed his happiness and he'd stepped in pee.  Before I left, I drove past and yelled, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I just hope you'll find peace."  He looked at me like I was a wacko.

"I will.  Don't underestimate free will," I said.

He nodded, that man who mowed the lawn diagonally and probably refused to make perpendicular lines.  I could tell he was formulating something profound, so I waited.  He talked then.  "Sometimes we're destined to chose, but we still control our own destinies.  Free will is more powerful than destiny?"  Was he actually asking me a question--as if I knew?  Hadn't he claimed to have all the knowledge before?

I smiled.  "That's what I believe.  We all have the gift of choice.  If it wasn't really choosing . . . then well . . . there wouldn't be a point." I smiled and waved goodbye.

So, sometimes things work in strange ways.  We can choose to make things different.  We can choose to pee on lawns.  We can choose to be cowardly Calvinists who never had a choice to begin with.  Either way, I decided I won't sit back.  Sometimes kids have to pee at the right time.  I think I was meant to talk to that man.  He made me realize that we choose who we are and how our relationships will be.  He made me realize that even though I'm not just like my friend--who's actually my sister and I was just too much of a pansy to admit it until now--we can still be buds.  It's all in our choices.  Some things are worth the choice.  Some things are worth the fight.


  1. You're completely misconstruing Calvinistic views. Why would let your kid pee in a parking lot? I don't have kids but I'd never allow my wife to let them think of doing something like that.

  2. Sometimes people change after having kids. It's crazy the things you suddenly have to deal with . . . a poopy here, a spit-up shirt there, stretch marks, gray hair. You have to do the best you can even if that involves visiting a few church parking lots. ;)

    I'm sorry if you found this post offensive, but these are my views.

    Check out this information if you have time:

  3. God works in mysterious ways I guess sometimes he works through the pee of babes :)

  4. Deary me the controversy..

    Personally i'm find pee a particularly ingenious and amusing way of introducing some theological discussion here..

  5. Oh my gosh LOL!!!! You two are awesome. I seriously just laughed so hard. I lOVE it ;)

  6. Calvinism is the farthest thing from cowardice. Actually, Calvinism doesn't throw its hands in the air and says: 'o well, it's all predestined, so what's the use', rather Calvinism acknowledges what the Bible says about predestination and salvation, it is God's work, 100% grace. After all, how can the will be free if according to the Bible we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness? How can anybody choose anything when he/she is spiritually dead (Eph: 2:1,2).

    Calvinism answers the question of how can God decide to send some people to hell (which is what you seem to be saying in your post), by showing that we all deserve to go to hell, and out of HIs infinite grace He saves some of us. Or would you prefer to have a God who is waiting for you to make up your mind, whether you're going to follow Him or not (cause He doesn't know yet, since you haven't decided yet), and if you decide not to follow Him, there's nothing he can do. That God is way too small, not omnipotent nor omniscient.
    But I liked your post anyway, I really don't think God minds if your son peed on the lawn of a church, have it I say, the poor kid had to go.

  7. Wow you sparked some debate! Kid had to pee he had to peee. No biggie. He's only three people. As for the Calvinism thing... I believe God gave us free will for a reason. Although he creates us and hopes that we will follow His word He gives us the choice to decide. Just as we as parents give our kids options. They have the option to obey our will or disobey and suffer the consequences of our choice. So I don't agree with the Calvanistic theology, however everyone has their sets of beliefs. Great post as usual nice debate topic, and great writing!

  8. Alessandra-

    Excellent, well-written response. This is a topic that I have such a hard time with. It's interesting because one of the main reasons I ever lost faith in God was because I can't stand the thought of people going to Hell. For some reason I can't wrap my head around it or the fact that some people are evil. I know there are some things we can't understand now, but the thought of God knowing that some people are going to Hell . . . it's hard for me to comprehend.

    I can't even fathom people going to Heaven and still being happy even though others are suffering in Hell.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking words. ;)


  9. I agree, you can't say what you will and won't do before having kids until you have kids! Peeing in the park lot is just like peeing in the woods, except with no trees and there's a pavement...

  10. My turn to disillusion you all with my theological theories!

    I disagree with the Calvanistic point of view. To me it says something like this, "God made me and He knew what I was going to do so it's His fault if I sin and am eternally damned. There is nothing I can do about it, because if I make a choice of my own, then I am professing to be equal to or greater than God, which I am not, so my choices are not really my own, they are God's. If everything I do is God's choice then nothing is my fault." That just seems like a cop-out to me.

    I believe that we are all given free agency. This does not diminish God's power or authority, since he gave it to us. If we claimed to have taken it, then yes, we would be belittling our God. But since when did accepting and utilizing a gift ever become a sin against The Almighty? (refer to the parable of the talents here)

    And simply because we are given free agency, that doesn't mean that God knows us any less. God has a perfect knowledge of each one of us, he knows our choices, our internal debates, struggles, fears, hardships, trials, everything. This gives him the opportunity to help us. (refer to the poem "Footprints in the Sand")

    I have faith that God plans for each of us to succeed. He has given us our road map, our instruction manual and a living example in His son Jesus Christ. He has shown us the way. He has told us what we need to do to get back to him. It is now our choice to follow the guidance. I refer to this as fore-ordination. We were foreordained to return to Him, we are foreordained to have certain blessings and roles in our lives, but if we don't follow his council, we will not attain these things.

    My faith in this is 100%. I know that if I don't follow the road map, I will not know where to go, and thus end up in a place I don't want to be. I will not blame my decisions on God. Christ is the Light and the Way. If I don't follow him, the only one I can blame is myself.

    But even so, Christ suffered in Gethsemene to atone for the sins of the world. And thus creating a mediator for Justice, allowing Mercy, and all we need to do to receive the blessing of the atonement in our lives is to repent, forsaking the sin and following His guidance again.

    God has given us every opportunity to succeed. He is our Father, wouldn't you do the same for your children?

    Stepping off my soap box now. Sorry for the long reply.

  11. Wow this got so serious. I just really enjoyed reading it, and if you've gotta go, you've gotta go!

  12. Elisabeth,
    that is a very interesting point of view. You lost your faith because you couldn't fathom people going to hell? Wouldn't that be akin to saying that you don't believe in the government because it puts people in jail? Why is it that sinning against man is not ok and you have to pay a price by going to jail, but sinning against God is ok and nothing should happen to you? HOw can God be holy and righteous if He lets people who sin against His word off the hook?

    The problem as I see it is the belief that most people are inherently good, while only a few are evil. The Bible says we're all evil, there's no one who does good, no one. That is not to say that people do not do good deeds, however, nothing we do on our own is ever perfect, which is what God requires of anybody being accepted into heaven. Man can never achieve the divine perfection that God demands, that is why it took God's son to pay the price for our sins. Hope this makes some sense.

    your understanding of Calvinism seems somewhat superficial. Calvinism rests on 5 principles
    T = total depravity of mankind
    U = unlimited grace
    L = limited atonement
    I = irresistible grace
    P = perseverance of the saints. The principles can be remembered by the acronym TULIP.
    I don't know exactly what you mean by free agency, but if you mean that we can choose to be saved or not, that would be a very difficult doctrine to prove scripturally. The Bible says that the natural man (unsaved) does not understand the things of God, neither can he know them (Corinthians), so how can we choose that which we do not understand? Do we have the ability to make choices? Of course, on a lot of stuff we have complete free agency, but not when it comes to salvation, that has been predestined since before the foundation of the world.

    Wow, all of this off of some pee.

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  14. Thank you for the TULIP, that is a great way to remember this. I can see your point of view, but I will have to respectfully disagree. And perhaps we can agree to disagree here, or it will be a very long discussion and I'm sure we have used oyr fair share of space on this blog post. Someday, however, I will have to try and figure out why it is "unlimited grace" and only a "limited atonement" as that is unclear to me. Thank you for your response. :)

  15. o wow, so much debate. I was just going to say, "I just discovered your blog and hahaha, this post is so funny", then I saw all the comments! personally, I don't think one can reason out faith too much; we humans can have all sorts of "high and lofty" takes on religion and Christianity; in the end I believe what really matters are the two greatest commandments -- loving God, and loving our neighbours. but again, hahaha, this post is so funny :)