[[image:newsnare.jpg::center:0]]…is a drum. I am in the process of getting a new drum-set this week. Three of the four drums arrived today and I think it could be the start of something truly beautiful. I love drums. It’s what I do. Getting new drums is for me like when a carpenter gets a brand new set of tools. For some reason, I just have this weird connection with the drums. The woodwork, the chrome, the personality, the sound, the buzz….it all hypnotizes me.
Drums are very complex instruments. They aren’t easy to get sounding right. You can’t just throw on new drum heads and expect to hear a beautiful tone. It takes a certain intimacy (yes, i said intimacy) and connection with the drum in order to find out what it likes. You have to work to find the drum’s voice. You have to allow it to sing. You can’t take a drum and simply make it sound the way YOU want it to. In order for you get the greatest sound you can out of the drum, you have to simply allow the drum to show you where it’s greatest tone resides. Getting to the point where one is able to do this doesn’t come from reading books or even copying others, but only by spending time with the drums and an fair amount of trial and error.
Today, as I opened the box to my new snare drum, it was the beginning of this “connection” process. I didn’t want to start striking it right away. I wanted to simply look at it, figure out it’s personality. I double checked for any common flaws or signs of mishandling. I gently tapped the drum with my index finger to get a general sense of it’s initial tone. So far so good I must say. It’s a beautiful snare drum and I would have to say it’s already one of my best wood snares, but it’s early. Only time can tell I guess. We’ll see how it does “at the office”.
Last night at bible study, Jamie told us a story of some pastors that came into the coffee shop where she works. One of Jamie’s coworkers is not a Christian nor had any interest at this point in her life in exploring what it means to be one. She was working the counter when the pastors, who were also complete strangers, were placing their order. After ordering they asked her “Do you know that Jesus loves you?” She replies uncomfortably, “Uh, I have Jesus’ phone number blocked on my caller I.D. so I wouldn’t know.”
It’s pretty clear as human beings we have an amazing capacity to show interest in things. For me it’s really easy to be interested in all things “drums”. It’s so much a part of my life, I can’t escape it. What’s sad is that the hardest things for us to be truly interested in is other people. Maybe it’s because showing real interest in others could lead to being inconvenienced. Maybe it’s just the regular social fear that we share to a certain extent. But if you really think about it, if an individual felt like there were others in their life that were genuinely interested in them, they could catch a glimpse of how full of love this world could be. Not just their moms and dads and close friends, but from those who they would least expect it. And not just a self serving interest, but an agenda-free, relational foundation type of interest.
I would file “Do you know Jesus loves you?” as a sentence that is full of agenda and that comes from a selfish posture. It may not seem so on the surface, especially coming from a pastor who is reading his bible in the corner at a coffee shop. But sadly, it’s what we’ve come to expect. It’s unfair really to rip this pastor because he’s an easy target. Take myself for example, I do the exact same thing. Maybe I don’t creep people out as badly in the process but my lack of agenda-free interest in others is just as ugly. I pray that God can show me ways to stop and show interest. Even if it’s just a brief encounter or the kind of interest that throws a wrench in your daily schedule. I pray that our bumper sticker evangelism and our unwillingness to be genuinely interested in others be exposed as the brittle shells of real faith and love that they truly are.