When I think about a PigTale, I think about two long braids in my hair. Yes, I know, that’s pig tail, but long hair will change your perspective on things like words, Drano and I Corinthians 11:6. Pig tail leads my mind to pony tail and that leads me to Pastor Hakala, the man who pastored the Lutheran Church I was raised in and always flipped my pony tail whenever he walked by my class in the middle school cafeteria.
The thing about Pastor Hakala was that he was kind. Too kind. Not once do I remember him coming right out and saying that we were sinners who needed to repent. No fire and brimstone from this man. No sir. If we wanted conviction, we went to my mama’s church – St. Mary’s Catholic Church in the next town over. That’s right, Daddy was Missouri Synod Lutheran and Mama was Catholic. They usually go together like oil and water, but when you have a doubtful Lutheran who just wants to love Jesus and a doubtful Catholic who just wants to love Jesus, beautiful harmony happens. Somehow, they made a marriage work and raised two kids who also just want to love Jesus. Mama and Daddy are now serving as pastor-elders at our non-denominational home church in Illinois (did I mention that’s where I’m from?) and my brother and I are in the post-graduate phase of bouncing from Methodist to Baptist to Presbyterian congregations depending on what’s happening in the church calendar. He’s in Los Angeles and I’m stuck in Texas. I stay stuck because I hate it here. But I don’t plan to write about that.
I don’t have a conversion story. I don’t have a date that I remember thinking Jesus is real now. He was always real. As real as the color green. If He was ever not-real, my reality would shatter. Just like if you told me the color green wasn’t actually green.
I can tell you that I got baptized on Palm Sunday 2014 in the church where I met Justin and Paige. I’d been baptized as a baby and somewhere around junior high, realized I needed to be baptized again but hadn’t yet found a community of believers I wanted to share that with. Until I got to Zootown Church. I’ve since moved from Missoula, but I left my heart there and haven’t got it back yet. So I’m counting the days until I can return to that sanctuary and throw open the doors like Aragorn about to take on the hoards of Isengard.
Things you need to know about me if you’re going to be reading anything I write. I’m a Midwest girl but I’ve travelled and lived from one end of this country to the other. As a result, I’ve met a lot of people who know a lot of things and a lot of people who think they know a lot of things. I don’t think I fit in either camp, but I do have a BA in History and (almost) an MA in Museum Studies. I enjoy reading and handling old pieces of paper, which is why I’m trying to become a Certified Archivist, but I prefer not to cite them when I talk to my friends.
Instead, I tell them what I think, not what dead guy they’ve never heard of said. I think a lot about beauty, what love looks like, women in the church, spiritual warfare, and what God knows vs. what He tells us. But I avoid using words that end in –ism and –ology. What this means for my posts is that I read and think about Kierkegaard, Hegel and a whole lot of C.S. Lewis, but I don’t quote them. Because when you quote at people, they think that you think you know a lot of things. And I don’t.
I do know a person. Righteousness is not a lesson, it’s a person. And purity is not a line, it’s a direction. If you asked every person on this planet what they need right now, at the end of the day they would all say hope. I find mine in a person that I really like to talk about. Sometimes I write about Him too. But most days, I just try to love God and love people.