"Throughout most of the church's history its empirical state has been deplorable. This was already true of Jesus' first circle of disciples and has not really changed since. We may have been fairly good at orthodoxy, at 'faith,' but we have been poor in respect of orthopraxis, of love. Van der Aalst reminds us that there have been countless councils on right believing; yet no council has ever been called to work out the implications of the greatest commandment--to love one another."
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Urinals & Church
I was at the Broad River Coffee Company this evening. Sometimes I feel like I will do more homework if I get out of my apartment, because I let my mind wander and my emotions wallow if I stay in my apartment, my safe place. The coffee shop helps, sometimes.
About halfway through my second cup of coffee, I got up to use the restroom, probably for the third time. The floor in the bathroom had just been mopped and I was pleased to stand near the urinal thinking all the pee splatter had been mopped up, which means it was mixed with soap and water and then spread all over the floor. And I began to think about the various reasons pee could get all over a men's-room floor.
I think it has little to do with aim, because the stream sometimes comes out in unexpected directions. Other times it is partly the fault of the guy. Maybe he stands too far away from the urinal and drips a little directly onto the floor. Sometimes an attempt to shake out the last few drops can send a drop of urine on the pants, shoes, or floor. You've got to be careful with the shake. And since urine is a liquid flowing with force from a small hole, physics dictates that the liquid will splatter after hitting its destination, be it the urinal cake, the wall of the urinal, or the puddle of toilet water near the drain.
I bet splatter is the main cause of urine on men's-room floors and I also bet a lot of study has gone into this issue. You might even say there are different urinal theories based on the many styles of urinals you see. It isn't as if urinals are designed to be aesthetically pleasing. No, they are designed in order to catch as much splatter as possible while also taking up as little space as possible. Or, so I presume. I haven't taken a class in urinalology ... yet.
And then I thought of the urinal fly, which is a great idea. I was at an airport once and noticed a fly in the urinal. Naturally, I aimed for it. It didn't move, though. I was pretty sure any live fly would either fly away or fall after being hit with the force of a stream of pee. Then I wondered if the fly was dead and squished against the urinal wall. Who would squish a fly inside of a urinal? Like any man would do, I changed my aim a little, thinking some indirect pressure might free the dead creature from the wall to the drain below. As I was investigating the fly with my pee, I decided it must be some sort of sticker or image printed on the porcelain, this decision made as any more investigatory urinating would require more ammo and result in me playing with myself (I hear it falls of if you do that and I certainly didn't want it to come off, especially not in an airport urinal). When finished, a few drops shaken onto the floor, another falling on on my thigh, I noticed similar fly images in each of empty urinals.
When I got back from the bathroom and returned to my studying--we're back in the coffee shop now, not the airport--I read about the Church. I'm sure I could make a lot of cheesy connections between urinals, the Church, and aim, but I'm afraid of being struck by lightning (or ignorance). The following sentences caught my eye:
Bosch, the author of the text, and Van der Aalst with him probably aren't suggesting we--here come the puns--toss faith and belief down the pisser or flush the fly out with the toilet water (I couldn't resist). But can you imagine what would have been the result of a bunch of Evangelicals getting together and not writing a manifesto and worrying about identity, but rather making a plan of how to change the world, letting anyone and everyone help them. What if the Pope called for a council that was only concerned with enacting love and embodying Christ, that is, agape? What if we didn't hear sermons about doctrine, but about how we could love and these sermons were followed by groups of people--you and me included--flocking outside the church walls instead of being concerned about what goes on inside those damned boundaries--groups of people who didn't change things inside the church so that people would come, but went out and just loved on some people.