today i was driving on the mass pike, gagging into the steering wheel. a text from my little brother:
” a moth just flew into my forehead and flittered its wings on my oily skin”
everyone has a phobia, right? mine just happens to be one of the lamest. don’t ask me how it came about. it was a bizarre and admittedly stupid combination of the mothman prophecies, a nightmare, high school boys with a bug zapper and a perfumed visit to a butterfly farm. just thinking about their feathery little antennas….you know what- i can’t even write about them. it’s making me sick.
so, now that it’s dark when i get home from work, i face the daily terror of The Threshold. Millions – ok dozens – ok like, 10 – moths gather on and flutter around the glass pane of our apartment landing. my dreaded task is to make it through the door without being
a) touched b) landed on c) followed.
because if they touch me i will vomit, if they land on me, they will either hide in my hair or worse, flutter near my ears (gagging) and if they follow me, they will either take a crack at option a or b or they will sneak into the apartment and get me once i fall asleep.
so far, i’ve successfully avoided all of the above through a trickily choreographed combination that goes like this:
….a 5-6-7-8… pep talk!don hood! full sprint! hit door! 360 through threshold! (a quick twirl is crucial as it is a successful anti-touch/anti-land maneuver as well as a vacuum generator to suck them back outside and squelch the possibility of being followed) simultaneous door slam! hair flip! (just in case) run up stairs without looking back! (make their little moth brains believe you are not afraid, just a spontaneous and bizarre dancer)
i have a point
even more essential than the quick twirl is the first step: my pep talk. without it, i would not have the courage to do my little dance. i think about the one moth in the wide multi-specied world of moths that does not make me gag. it is fictional. it is from lord of the rings (yes, i’m taking it there.) the one that visits gandalf when he is imprisoned (i swear i’m normal). it’s so pretty and so helpful just as i’m wanting to turn off the movie due to depression. then gandalf whispers to it and sends it for help and saves the day etc etc etc.
i still have a point.
believe it or not, it qualifies as “commentary on the christian culture” (per my subtitle).
so i think about this one non-evil moth and convince myself that these gross, terrifying flittery insects on my door are friends with the gandalf moth and i have no need to be afraid. this lie usually lasts until mid-sprint and momentum takes me from there.
i know there’s alot of people who think of christians and want to gag. they’ve been traumatized by a series of bizarre and probably stupid encounters and now want nothing to do with anyone who calls themself a christian. they come up with complicated maneuvers to avoid these people.
but what if they met JUST ONE christian who didn’t make them want to run in the other direction?
someone who was authentic. someone who didn’t pretend they were perfect. someone who cared more about loving relationships than a checklist to live by. maybe it would change their entire life.
i started out writing this entry to say that i want to be that gandalf-moth-christian. but as i wrote down and thought about what that would look like, i thought meh, i’ll probably screw up and ruin it.
and then i thought about jesus. most people i know who don’t like christians have no problem with jesus – just the people who claim to represent Him. i think that to people who don’t like christians i would like to say,
“ignore me. i’m human and although i’m trying to be more like jesus, i screw up all the time. but if you get to know jesus, i think you will feel differently toward christianity. in fact, it won’t matter much at all how you feel about christianity. i think you (more importantly) will feel drawn to Him…much like a moth (gag) to a flame.”