Loaves and Fishes Jesus

Selling a home has got to rank as one of the top most stressful life events, right behind getting married or moving across the country. We spent all weekend at my condo, painting, cleaning, staging.

What drives me nuts is when people guarantee a deadline, then don’t meet it. Maybe I don’t completely understand because I’m not a contractor, but if I’m constantly late, then I’d probably build a buffer into my timeline and say, “Well hell, I typically don’t deliver on-time, so instead of being done on Wednesday, let’s just say I won’t be done until next Wednesday for good measure!”

Right? Wouldn’t you want to underpromise and overdeliver? Isn’t that the basic tenet of contracting?

But no. Come Friday night, we’re nowhere near done. Come Saturday when I’m expecting my real estate agent to come by, we’re nowhere near done. It’s now Monday and we’re still not finished.

Throughout the weekend, I started hyperventilating, thinking, what would Jesus do? That’s my Lenten promise, to take a deep breath, calm down, and think of Jesus. But every time I thought of Jesus, I thought about the time he went to the synagogue and saw that people had turned the place into a Biblical Walmart. He opened up a can of whoop ass and went postal! He was so mad at these people for disrespecting the temple of God, for taking advantage of the poor, and profiting off of the lowly.

And I thought yeah. Jesus got mad and I can get mad too, because I feel taken advantage of. This isn’t Monopoly money we’re talking about. This is tens of thousands of cold hard cash. This is my blood, sweat, and tears. This is the only home that I own, this is my savings. And people are telling me they’re going to be done on a certain day and they’re not. So every single day we’re late is money down the F*ing toilet.

So yesterday my husband Dean’s telling me to chill out, it will get done when it gets done, and I went all Jesus on him. Not loaves and fishes Jesus, but protesting, tirading, anti-Walmart Jesus.

“WHAT PART OF LOSING MONEY DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!” I screamed in my sacred Lenten voice.

That didn’t help any. I tried to simmer down. I walked out of the apartment and downstairs into the backyard (which also needs work, but I cannot even deal with that right now). I walked back upstairs into the apartment and sat down on the couch, twitching with subdued rage. Since I can’t assist with the painting and I cleaned everything I could possibly clean, I’m completely useless. I pick up our book club book, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, hollering at Dean, “Well I’m just going to sit here and read my book club book about a man who murders his wife. You let me know when it’s time to go home.”

What Would Jesus Do?

Wowzers, so much is going on! Last night was Mardi Gras. Diet, be damned, I snacked on Girl Scout cookies throughout the day and had a lovely glass of Cabernet at Maven bar/restaurant in the Haight after my acupuncture appointment. Totally counter-productive, but whatever, it was Mardi Gras!

Obama gave a terrific State of the Union. Almost makes me want to join the Congress band wagon. You go, politicians. Earn your keep and send those bills to Obama to sign. We’ve got work to do!

Have you been following the Westminster Kennel Club dog show? For someone who has never owned a dog, I am obsessed. I think the dog who won Best in Show, the affenspinscher named Banana Joe, kinda looks like me. Tiny and hairy!

Banana Joe, Westminster dog show 2013

Photograph: Frank Franklin II/AP

 

Since Fat Tuesday was last night, that means today is Ash Wednesday and the start of the holy Lenten season, the 40+ days before Easter. Originally, I thought I’d double-down on my diet, and give up sweets and alcohol since I have to do it anyway. That means no cheat days, just plain misery for all of Lent. But I thought that would only serve to make me more of a bitch so I killed that idea.

I prayed last night on what I should do, really do to make myself a better person. Because that’s what it’s all about. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s about giving up your favorite vice like ice-cream or beer. Lent is the season of being more Christ-like. If you give up say coffee, then every time you think of coffee, it should remind you of sacrifice and you should be donating the money to charity. But if every time you want a sip of coffee, you’re counting down the days to Easter when you can stand in line at Starbucks, then that’s not really appropriate.

I have been suffering from a lot of anxiety lately and I determined the best thing for me (and for those around me) is to stop constantly being so stressed out. So I’m going to give up worrying (about the refi, home sale, eating right, Ghost Baby) and whenever I feel a pang of anxiety, I’m going to ask myself, ‘What would Jesus do?’ He’d be really calm and pray. So that’s what I’m going to do. Y’all got to hold me to it now that it’s out there on the blogosphere. Don’t worry be happy.

Jesus Unveiled: The Committed Christ

If you follow current events closely, you may have seen the headline-popping research that points to Jesus potentially having married. Specifically, the NY Times featured this article titled Historian Says Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife. This is MAJOR. As someone who has been inculcated in Catholic doctrine, where there is absolutely no discussion of alternative gospel stories, I’ve widely assumed that Jesus lived the life of a singleton. His life as an unmarried penitent man lays the foundation for those who choose to be priests and leaders of the Catholic Church. Like Jesus, they too, cannot marry, cannot have sex, essentially cannot be human. I have always believed that a life of celibacy is the Church’s downfall as it leads priests to prey on and molest our children. How often do you see Episcopalian priests (they have the opportunity to marry) in the news for sexual deviancy, yet it happens time and time again, lawsuit after lawsuit with Catholic priests. What is the Church’s response? Denial, hush money, cover-ups. Pure evil!

The potential that Jesus was actually a married man would destroy the foundation for a male-only priesthood and I believe, would lead to a more righteous and genuine leadership. This research is well-timed given the rift that is currently playing out between Catholic priests and nuns. The Vatican issued a warning recently to the nuns telling them to refrain from their outspoken ways and to conform. Clearly, the Church doesn’t like its members to think, only to obey.

This archaic papyrus deemed by historians, theologians, and papyrologists to be authentic is significant because it gives some credence to long-running rumors that Jesus may have been married and may have potentially partnered with the prostitute Mary Magdalene. All this is relevant because it proves not only that Jesus was human, had human desires, but also was unwavering in loving all people.

Whatever the truth is, I believe. Whether he was married, single, gay, hetero, bi, whatever, I love the man. That is my faith. But the Vatican can be so holier-than-thou annoying that it’d be quite a hoot to find out that their way was wrong this whole time. Why women cannot partake in the priesthood is beyond me.

Brewing about this post, I remember watching an episode of the 1970s TV show Good Times. JJ brought home a painting of Jesus that he found at a garage sale. When his mom came home after work she was like, “What is that?” JJ said he thought she’d like it since it was a picture of Jesus. What’s funny is that in the picture Jesus is black. His mom freaked, “I been praying to Jesus my whole life and I know he ain’t black.” That episode cracked me up and I thought about it fondly while writing this. We all have our pre-conceived notions about what we believe in. And that’s fine. When you pray, you envision someone. That’s ok. But when rules are made predicated on antiquated scripture (women can’t be priests, gays can’t marry…that’s what’s in the gospel!), then that’s where you have to open your mind and consider, did Jesus draw those kind of boundaries? It’s the spirit of the law, people. Cmon! Open your brains!

Last thing that made me chuckle out loud. One of the comments on the NY Times article said, “If Jesus did get married, I hope he had a happy one and I hope his wife didn’t nag him too much about getting a real job.”

Christmas at Notre Dame des Victoires

I’ve been going to Christmas mass every year for my lifetime. I’ve waited in the cold to get in. I’ve smooshed up to others to fit into a pew. I’ve gone early and waited an hour beforehand. What a waste of time! Didn’t matter whether I was in Alameda or San Francisco. There have always been crowds of Catholics needing to get their Jesus fix.

This year, we walked down the hill to Notre Dame des Victoires in the city. I was thoroughly annoyed at Dean because we were running a late. “We’re not going to get a seat!” I screamed as I puttered along in front of him. We showed up at 9:01am on Saturday Christmas morning and the priest practically escorted us to a vacant pew. The place wasn’t even a quarter full. So surprising, also because the pastor is pretty bad ass with his homilies. I call the rectory to ask which masses he’ll be presiding at.

Never have I seen a place so under-populated on Christmas. Unbelievable. Plus they had a reception afterwards. Cheese, crackers, cookies, sliced meat, juice, and coffee. Yeah!

Now you know. A place where you don’t have to fight the mad crowds which I have very little patience for.

Book Review: Heaven is for Real

I’ve been trying to read a lot more. At any given moment, I’ll have a book either in my hand, in the purse I’m carrying, or in the bathroom closet for toilet time. So I’ve been following several publications on Twitter and blogs to determine what book to devour next. I always take recommendations, so please feel free to comment and share! I’ve been blowing up my Amazon cart with almost daily purchases.

A New York Times bestseller that caught my eye was Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. It’s the true story of the Burpo family and how their 4-year-old son miraculously survived a ruptured appendix which went untreated for several days because of misdiagnosis. When you live in a small town, you risk access to good health care!

It comes to pass that the kid (who was never pronounced dead) went to heaven during his surgery–verified by the boy giving specific details of dead family members he had never met, including an unmentioned sister who had been miscarried by his mother. I can understand how this may sound staged and made up, but I’m a Catholic believer so the story is not that fantastical to me. What is enlightening is how he describes heaven, Jesus, the trinity.

I got bored towards the end, though, because the father kept relating everything his son said to scripture which is understandable. But leave your church biases out of the equation, I just want to hear in your son’s words what his experience was like. The contextual stuff could have been cut.

I finished it in one night–not because I couldn’t put it down, but because it was a simple book in Readers Digest-type verbiage. Skip the book and read the reviews.

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