Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Unpretty Christians Bad Idea

My twin brother, David and I both grew up on the back pew of churches running up and down the back roads of Okefonokee Swamp. We've seen exorcisms, feet washing, pulpit pimps, six layer chocolate cake, choir stand romances, and ginormous, but gorgeous First Lady hats. However, we both disagree if we saw Christ chilling in any of those churches. We were lusty, moody highschool teenagers seeking some direction and a first kiss, preferably the latter. Me with a tall, badboy preacher's son and him with the girls on the youth usher board at Pleasant Hill Baptist. :)

He found what he was looking for; I found something else: that Christ, the real Christ had a little bad boy in him and whole lot of grace. Finding him those churches weren't as hard as I thought once I knew where to look.

See. He's not found in easy answers, or perfect, pious people or storybook endings and definitely not my PK crush.He was never lost. We were, especially on stormy nights traveling down red clayed church roads.

Today David and I are unpretty Christians. We depend on each other like a roadmap. I hope you have a friend or sibling that can do that for you.

This month Fiction if Rather Sortakes is please to spotlight a story about Griffin Smith, a highschool graduate taking a road trip to his new college home. He brings alone his best friend, Cole, his father, and Rhonda-his dads young fiancee. I can smell bad idea from a mile away. No wonder the story is titled, Bad Idea: A Novel With CoyotesBad Idea .

Here's a snippet



(Todd & Jedd Hafer,NavPress/Think Books, October, $12.99.)

An excerpt...

“We should totally drive!” Rhonda said, wagging a limp french fry for
emphasis.

I clenched my teeth. I hate it when adults try to talk like teenagers. Rhonda
does it all the time. Her efforts are particularly grating to me because she
does, in fact, employ the teen vernacular, but always, always at least
one season too late.

Thus, my father’s 28-year-old fiancĂ©e didn’t say “Congratulations!” when I was
inducted into Quill & Scroll (the National Honor Society for high school
journalists) early in my senior year. She said, “Big ups to you, G!” And when I
was named Honorable Mention All-Area in track and field (small-school division),
she didn’t say “Way to go!” She said, “Big respect, G-Man! You got the mad
wheels, homey!”

If she says, “I’m feelin’ you, dawg,” during one more of our Dad-initiated
dinnertime theological discussions, I’m going to puke on her shoes.

Fortunately for Rhonda, and all of the people at the Big Bear Diner on the
night the road trip was conceived, I didn’t barf when she said, “We should
totally drive!” I raised my eyes to the ceiling and said, “I don’t think we
should totally drive. I don’t even think we should partially drive.”

I looked across the booth to my dad to accept the disapproving glare I knew he
would be offering. I smiled at him. It was my infuriating, smug smile. I
practice it in the bathroom mirror. It’s so irritating that when I see my
reflection doing it, I want to punch myself in the face.

My dad didn’t hit me. That wasn’t his style. He just nibbled his bottom lip for
a while before saying calmly, “I think we should give the idea due consideration
rather than reject it out of hand.”

“Okay,” I said, sipping my bitter iced tea, “let’s hear why we should cram
ourselves into a car and drive for, what, three or four days to Southern
California, stomping on each other’s raw nerves all along the way and probably
breaking down somewhere near the Kansas-Colorado border. Or maybe getting in a
wreck.”

Rhonda looked at my dad, giving him her Wounded Face, all droopy eyes and
puckered chin and poofed-out lower lip. You know the look.

He looked at her, then at me. “Griffin, please . . .”



2 comments:

M. C. Pearson said...

Thanks for posting!

Hi, I'm Dee said...

Thanks for the book. I love that book. I am going to donate it to my YMA at my church.

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