By Curtis K. Shelburne
Folks living in the internally displaced person camps near Nimule, Sudan, where our son Joshua spent last year, would love to be displaced in exactly the same way and, more to the point, in the same type of location, as I am. I understand that sad fact, and I should be more thankful and less grinchy.
But it’s hard to be displaced, even if the “camp” to which you’re heading is comfortable.
My wife has finally made good on her threat to kick me out of the living room. I’ve been shipped upstairs to what was the boys’ bedroom. The edict issued by Her Honor wasn’t anything particularly personal. It’s still okay for me to come downstairs occasionally. And I’m still allowed to have some reasonable freedom in the house.
But the desk, computer, printer and stacks of pertinent or not-so-pertinent paper-work that had metastasized from the top of the desk into piles covering the living room table and much of the floor in that end of the house, offended the lady I love. She warned me that change was coming. I should have known she meant it.
By the way, a point lost on most of the presently campaigning politicians, and evidently also on most of the folks who listen to them, is that not all change is good or in the right direction. As I write, all the armchair quarterbacks in our nation wanting to be quarterback are sure they’d do a better job than the present gent and are promising change. One of them will get the job. It will likely serve him/her right, and we’ll see what, if anything, changes, or if it changes for the better.
Seems I recall that my wife also said something about change when, following our fourth baby, she sent me to visit with the doctor. (Did you hear about the puppy who was jumping up and down, bragging to his kennel-mates, “Hey, guess what? I heard the folks who run this place talking. I’m gonna get tutored!”)
After the move upstairs, I found myself wandering around downstairs one evening feeling like I needed to write a column, pay a bill, check e-mail, or work on a sermon or something, and a sick feeling came over me. I just stopped and stood there for a moment, immobile in the room I once occupied. I was disoriented and lost, not knowing which way to go. Downcast in an upward direction and pathetic, I finally made my way to the camp for the internally displaced person wearing my shoes.
Before the move, I kept losing stuff in the piles. Now I’ve lost the piles.
Grudgingly, I must admit that this change will likely be an improvement. We’ll know soon, not that I have any right to appeal.
Change. It can be tough. I’m so glad we can trust in the rich, deep, eternal love of our Father. His love never changes at all.
Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org