My son, Oscar and I watch a show called “Roadkill”. It might be my favorite TV show of all time. The premise is two guys who travel around buying abandoned beater cars, fix them up enough to drive (in whatever driveway or barn they find it in) and road trip home. They are constantly breaking down along the way and improvising car repairs with duct tape and zip ties. This would be a total nightmare for most people, but I can’t get enough–for two reasons.
One reason I love “Roadkill” is because I love beaters. I would take a raggedy looking truck that runs over a polished chrome chariot any day (look no further than my crusty Toyota). There is something about the idea of finding an old junker that has been totally forgotten in the barn or back lot and giving it a second chance at life on the open road.
Another reason this is my favorite show is Freiburger and Finnegan. Both of these guys have spent the bulk of their careers working for Motor Trend magazines around hot rods and super cars. Even so, they struck up a friendship based on their love of beater car resurrection. Freiburger and Finnegan spend days at a time rebuilding carburetors on picnic benches and overhauling engines in hotel parking lots. When most people would be pulling their hair out, these guys are laughing and giggling. At some point in every episode you can hear one of them say, “This is the best day at work ever!”
I guess a third reason I like Roadkill is it reminds me so much of life in church community. Have you ever had the thought, “If people really knew me they would never want to be my friend.”? There are definitely things about me that I have put a lot of energy into hiding or compensating for. The irony of this is the people who I have let into my life on a deeper level, the people who know the most about my faults and dysfunction, are actually the ones who love me the most.
At some point, we all feel like abandoned beater cars–used up, messed up, unloveable. Sometimes it’s our own fault and sometimes it is out of our control. However, when the church is doing its job, we are a bunch of Finnegans with a genuine love of bringing broken people back to life. In church community, you are loved more in our vulnerability, not less. We may never advertise ourselves as “the Roadkill church”, but I think CTK has everything it takes to be a church that lifts each other up so that each of us can be loved and accepted–with our flaws, not in spite of them.