29 Days of Hope: A Resident Alien in Roswell Abducts Me.

I liked going on tour with the college choir.  The old music wasn’t much to my liking. I guess I harbored a conviction that the old church songs related to old people, that is was time for new songs and “relevant” songs only.   My sent me on a quest to stay with Don Adams when I got to Roswell New Mexico that would be a shift in my convictions. He gave me permission to believe that trying to prove Christians can be cool might be a less interesting endeavor than to learn to live a little, well, alien to what was relevant.

 Don was a man that I was expected to honor if for no other reason than my parents *strongly told me I should.   When they said it Like that I knew I should trust them.  He was a farmer in the truest stereotypical sense of the word. Normally he woke at 4am and ate Jeanette’s Bacon/eggs/fat/salt&and/sugar-fest made for farmers who were about to go work the land all day.  My tour partner, Paul,  and I sat down in the booth at Denny’s and somehow the conversation turned to the church that Don attended, the one my parents attended (mostly because of Don and Jeanette) while they lived in Roswell.
 Now Don is an odd duck, in the Wendell Berry way, a true master of the land. He is Alien to the whims of pop-culture.  We arrived at Denny’s with Paul and I ready to travel and Don in his Overalls, willing to be late to the field in order to see  we were fed, and more importantly, cared for.
 “It’s the Choruses,” he said.  “Not the music but the words, I don’t care too much about the music, but none of those choruses can do this…”   He reached into his upper overalls pocket, the one that sits about where your heart sits and pulled out a small stack of three by five cards.   It was the kind of cards you make notes on if you need to remember something important.  He put on his glasses and read from the Cards…”

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

“My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.” By the time he got to the last card his eyes, indeed his cheeks, were full of tears.  It was in that moment he looked most like Santa Claus with his white beard and spectacles.    I sat ther, subtly introspective, knowing I did not know something he new.    Maybe my sense of relevant was much less accurate than his.   It made me want to work the fields, it made me want to wear overalls, but after some reflections it made me want to be a farmer of a tradition I had just begun to understand.  I felt I belonged to a different people who could stand a little less to try to be cool.  I wanted to learn it, nurture it, and grow it in my soul.   …Like Don had.

Don is an alien,   He is not relevant or cool.  He does not fit.   And because of that he made me ask better questions of my faith. He made me want to have a faith and not just pretend I am on the winning team.  He made me *want to look deeper and ask better questions about my own desire.
Can it be that I should gain an interest in God’s love?
Good question.


  • Matt

    I know there is nothing wrong with the latest fashion (be it clothing or music) per se but more and more when I see someone with the “cool” shoes, jeans etc I don’t see “cool”, I see shackles. I see slavery.

    I know I am being judgmental and I know everyone who dresses in the latest trends isn’t necessarily in bondage – But I think many might be.

  • theiconoclass

    I think there are good times to make some judgments. I think bondage is not to strong a word since addiction is so close. And when you begin counting the 14 year olds who help assemble the stuff for hours a day with no education… bondage is not bad language.


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