Mar 28, 2008

Brooke White, Jesus and Me.

I'm perplexed.

Today, I was sitting in the rocking chairs out in front of the local Cracker Barrel with two precious friends. We got into a discussion that I have to say, has got me all bumfuzzled.

It began with our innocent talk about American Idol. Well, c'mon people, we had to discuss who got voted off. It's our right and our duty as Americans. The talk of who got voted off eventually turned to who didn't get voted off - or better yet, who should get voted off. And eventually that turned in to who we liked, who we didn't, who looked cute, who wore their clothes well, who had good posture, etc. You know? All of the important stuff.

Eventually our conversation turns to Brooke White who is very much in the running on our much loved show and one of my friends says that she "loves her."
"Why?" I ask. "Why do you love her?"
"Because she's so sweet."
"This is a singing competition. Who cares if she's sweet."
"I do. She just seems so sweet and genuine. And I really like her."

Hmmph. Sweetness. I think it is so overrated.

And so began a conversation between friends that has got me all hot and bothered. I mean it, I'm stumped. Here's the question I asked them...
"If someone were to describe you to someone who has never met you before, what words would they use?"
Would they say "oh, she's a real hoot!" or "she's very sensitive." Would they describe you as "talented" or "beautiful", "round" or "frumpy?"
What would they say?

I asked my friends this question about me. (And just for the record I tend to have the ridiculous habit of surrounding myself with friends who will only speak the brutal truth. I wish I could break this habit, and get more friends like Paula Abdul. I mean, who wouldn't like to have a friend who consistently told you "Well, I can honestly say this is the best you've ever looked"???)
They proceed to answer me using words like "hilarious", "trouble", "outgoing", "charismatic". But no where in the conversation was "sweet."
Nowhere. I know, because I waited for a really long time for them to say it. And eventually it just turned into awkward silence.

Nowhere were words like "gentle", "meek", "long suffering" or "kind" ever even mentioned.


And now I'm perplexed. So I'll ask you like I asked them..."if we strive every day of our lives to be more like Christ, to have His mind, His heart, then how come 'sweet' never showed up in my job description?"
I mean, honestly, when Jesus walked the earth do you think one of His disciples ever described Him by saying, "Well, He's a real hoot, I'll give Him that. And trouble - whooo, hooo, He is trouble waiting to happen. Always gettin' us in trouble and smooth talking His way out of it. He's the life of the party, but can really be a bit moody. But He sings great! And He can do a lot of different stuff with His hair."

No! I imagined they described Him as "precious; so sweet and kind. Easy to talk to and such a joy to be around. Can have a bit of a temper at times, but only when necessary. Otherwise really positive, sees the good in almost everyone. Plus, He really listens when you talk and always has time for you."

One of my friends even admitted that I "always pretend to be interested in what is being said." Pretend??? Pretend to be interested?
What is wrong with me?

All in all, this conversation has made me even more sure of the fact that we truly are constantly striving to be more like Him. It really is a race; one we are always running. We are never there. We have never "arrived." It is an every day battle to be more like Christ. To have His nature and His heart. To see others as He sees them. To love them like He loves them. To serve, as opposed to being served. To listen, as opposed to always talking. To lead by loving. To gain trust by being trustworthy. These things were part of His nature. They are very rarely a part of ours.

But ya know, if he had made us all like Brooke White, well, then it seems to me like the world would be a really boring place. We'd all have beautiful blond hair and sit sweetly at the piano and sing very fragile-like with a perfect smile on our face.

I'm sorry, but occasionally someone needs to bust out in a little Aretha.
And come to think of it - you rarely see her smile.

And so I say, that just like dr. pepper chapstick, Michael Bolton, and Aussie Sprunch Spray, sweetness is sooooo 1988.

And I have really got to find some new friends.


Anonymous said...


I missed a serious lunch at Cracker Barrel yesterday.

Deep conversations. ha!ha!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, sweetness is definitely over-rated. Everyone has their flaws. We're all cracked pots, at best!

The First "Mel"

Anonymous said...

i'm u like Brooke or not?


Lisa said...

For what it's worth, I have seen sweetness in you. The way you look at Remi, the way you talk about the AG when you're not blogging about him, the way you talk about granny and papaw and your mom; when she can't hear you. Yes, Melissa, you can be sweet; but in all honesty I think I really love you just the way you are; hoot, trouble, vivacious, loud Misha. I wouldn't change a thing. And sweet is overrated. At one point in life you get mistaken for a doormat. :(

Melissa Radke said...


I do like Brooke...she's very sweet.

mallory said...

i like carly smithson