After college I spent a summer a’ courtin’ near our nation’s capital. My beloved had volunteered to spend her first post-grad year keeping house and waiting on guests at a retreat known simply as The Cedars in Arlington, Virginia. During this time, she lived in community with other young women from around the world in a house just down the street.
Utterly twitterpated, I thumped at the opportunity to spend my summer working on the volunteer grounds-keeping crew of The Cedars in the dim hope I might catch a glimpse of my heart’s delight through one of the mansion’s many windows. The grounds crew, a stalwart group of men from around the world, lived at Ivanwald, a house just down the street from the house just down the street from The Cedars. That summer proved to be one of the most memorable of my life.
Living in community with a group of men who are serious about Christian discipleship can be an incredibly edifying experience. There is a directness in a fellowship of men who don’t mince words. The men I lived with were such men. What the scripture says is true, Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
An amusing example of male directness (and why I’m writing about this today) was our habit of referring to the sluggards among us as “hinges.” This peculiar epithet is derived from Proverbs 26:14 which reads:
As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.
“Get out of bed, Hinge!” was a refrain barked in the bunk room on many a morning. In order to escape the approbation of their peers, some of my more clever friends began referring to their bunks as the Word:
Approbating Peers: “Where’ve you been, Hinge?”
Hinge: “Spendin’ time in the Word.”
Approbating Peers: “Oh. Well, then. Good on you. Praise the Lord.”
Throughout these first days of TYIJF I’ve been thinking more and more about becoming unhinged. I want to be as healthy, wealthy, and wise as the next guy, but in case you didn’t know it, 5:00 A.M. is early.
When that alarm goes off, I don’t feel much like waking like a hero (see number 1 here). I feel like asking the dawn if it’s ever picked up its teeth with broken, rosy fingers. Nevertheless, for six days straight I’ve been hurling myself out of bed and mumbling serviam. Some mornings in the Battle of the Hinge I feel like the first guy off the transport in Saving Private Ryan, but, as Mother Theresa reminds us, we’re called to faithfulness, not success. Anyway, I think I’m starting to establish a beachhead—please pray for me.Share on Facebook