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They’re not fair, these assumptions. These assumptions I’m carrying about making friends and settling down in this new part of town are just residue from my grief. I didn’t realize until my last couple days in Chicago how sad I was to leave this group of people who have been growing into my own community over the past several months. I drove halfway to Michigan in need of windshield wipers hanging from my eyelashes because they were behind me, these people. I was driving away from them. Their love, the direction of their thoughts, the way their actions match, it’s changing the way I think. The way folks practice Christianity, yet again, is influencing my cerebral theology.

Chicago Community in Summer 2010

These assumptions I carry, they say it doesn’t get any better than the apartment on Mozart. That’s where we’d meet on Tuesday nights. My assumptions say that Mozart is the standard, the ultimate expression of Christ’s love among others, and that even searching for something comparable is following a pirate map and finding no treasure at the end. I’ll never find anything to match. My assumptions say there will only ever be disappointment apart from Mozart.

I have to be able to see through these changes to the clarity beyond. The Mozart folks sent me a letter today. The kind where everyone writes a message and signs their name. They must have passed it around on Tuesday night, the first Tuesday that I was gone. I mean, here. Nothing in their words said specifically that I’m wrong, that I’m assuming things that will only achieve loneliness, but I know that I am. They’re on the right track, these dear friends of mine, living like Christ, transforming lives, effecting change. But they can’t be the only ones.  They just can’t be.

There are folks here who have hearts bent in the same kinds of twists and turns. I’m sure of it. There are folks here with crazy ideas that maybe [gasp!] don’t even fit into the structure of the institutional church but, yet, are Christlike to the utmost. Ideas that are wise, that are love incarnate, that are sacrificial and hard. And if I sit on these assumptions, I’ll never meet them to know. Here goes.

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