Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Monday After Sunday: Southern Style

The time has come for the Monday After Sunday post.  However, due to it being finals week and having to roast our favorite professor last night, we are going to pretend today is Monday all over again...or at least while you read.

This Sunday was a particularly busy day for me.  However, Sunday lunch and chat time at the Crutchfield's was a large part of that busyness! (that's a good thing)  There were thirteen of us, which made for a full, but wonderful, table.

*The continuation of this weekly post may or may not continue during the summer.*

Now, writing about his Sunday experience, I give you Baron O'Neal (well-known Pilgrim's Protest writer):
Growing up in the south meant one of two things: either you were at church on Sunday morning or someone was dead. Those were the only two options. My Sundays were just that. Go to church, go to my grandparents for dinner, (“lunch for you non-southerners”) and eat. As I got older I realized that the dinner took a more ominous feeling. It went from eating to fighting most of the time and you never knew who was going to get offended and the fighting start all over again. This led to some negative anticipation going into the meals. Dread and angst over the arrival of Sundays were normal. I played the part of a good boy in church, but as soon as I was old enough to not have to go to church, I swore I wouldn’t go back. And that is what I did. When I turned 18 I drank heavily and began working full time.  My mother couldn’t force me to go to church anymore because I was self-sufficient. If the truth were known, she probably didn’t want me to go because the people around me would have become high off of the alcohol fumes I was giving off from the night before. Anyway, I quit going to church and essentially turned off all signs that I was anything that would resemble a follower of Christ. Through many difficulties and 15 years elapsing, I came back to Christ. That decision led me to CIU. My freshman year my life was turned upside down. I was forced into a divorce. I had to make a choice, to stay in school, go through an ugly divorce, and struggle or quit school, go through an ugly divorce, and still struggle. With guidance and wisdom from two men I honor, I chose to stay in school. In the end I lost my wife, church, friends, and family members. I was asked to come to a church that I had heard about around CIU called Church of the Apostles. This church is a night and day contrast to my southern Baptist heritage. I went with the encouragement from the two men I honor. I have never looked back. I was welcomed with open arms for the first time among believers that are scarred from the past or just want to be left alone and worship Christ. I was invited to the Crutchfield’s house one Sunday after church. I am not intelligent enough to come up with the words that describe the experience that happens in that home. The moment you walk in, the smell of warm bread and cookies soothes the wounds from your hard week. The inviting call to come into the kitchen drowns out the memories of arguments and fights of the past week. To sit at a table with a family that truly loves each other and isn’t afraid to say it or show it breaks down barriers and childhood memories that I dare not repeat. We start dinner, and the laughter begins. We don’t stop laughing until the last bite is gone and the dessert has been gladly devoured. We give thanks to God by sharing our thoughts with those around the table. It is a chance for others to hear a bit of our souls. We leave the table and go into different areas of the house. Some watch or play sports, while others talk for hours about deep troubles, thoughts they are having, or just simply the weather. It isn’t really about the sports or the talks, it’s about being a part of normal family. It is something that is so foreign to many of us, yet, the Crutchfield’s seem to be the bastion of hope that there really is hope for families today. In my broken home I am able to show my daughter that there is a true family unit working together for the good of the whole. She is able to see people get along and play, laugh, incorporate discipline as needed, and do it in love. I cherish every moment I am in that house. It is an honor to be able to sit at the table of one of the men I admire most and see how God has used him and his family to live the true, authentic, Christian life. Thank you Crutchfields for allowing the outsiders to become insiders in your home. Kaylee and I love you all very much.
 Now, for any of you guys hoping to ask that special girl out...I've heard The Avengers is a good first date.
(But, I would recommend using your own discretion based on the girl ; ) )

Found: Here

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