Painting with IHOPers

April 28, 2007

Clay and Sarah Edwards just bought a house. Talk about growing up–married… homeowners… baby on the way. Anyway, a bunch of people from the night watch (mostly Clay’s team) were over at the house to help them paint and clean yesterday (Thursday) after they closed on the house. 10 Hours of bug-sucking, window-scrubbing, wall-painting, and PB-watching.

While we painted, I kept thinking about how unusual our community really is. For one… there’s the simple fact that we were intentionally painting between 6pm and 4am. But the real usual thing is the conversations that were happening around the wet paint.

~ At one point in the night, I was standing on a ladder and making the straightest line I could (Clay doesn’t believe in tape) while Richard was reading to me from his most recent blog post. (I’m pretty sure most people don’t discuss 1 John while holding a paintbrush.)

~ Psalms 96 and 98 apparently popped up twice in the night. I brought them up and then learned that Richard and Jordan had already been discussing them earlier. (I’ve been singing these two Psalms during spontaneous singing for the last week or so.)

~ Amanda and I had this conversation contradicting the common saying, “All good things must come to an end,” while painting in a room that had no open windows. (Note, this wasn’t because the windows couldn’t be opened. We just… didn’t open them. That is, until Clay came in, seeming moderately concenred, and did something about it.)

~ We had some of those “So why are you at IHOP and what do you see yourself doing in … years?” conversations. People talking about valuing things like worship and fasting and prayer… spending their lives in the context of night and day prayer… gratitude for a community of likeminded people.

And these are just a few random samples. If I don’t step back and think about it, these are just typical conversations. The kind of stuff we talk about regularly. But then I pause for a moment and realize that this isn’t exactly normal. We truly are blessed to be in the midst of a community that talks about these kinds of things. Sometimes I take that for granted.

Don’t get me wrong… we had some “normal” conversations, too. There was the, “Do you girls want to get married someday?” chat. Jonathan Ramos and I got a fairly long spiel about energy-efficient lights. Sarcastic remarks abounded. (I had one brief exchange with Clay over which Amanda has declared that I won. That makes me happy. Very happy.) We talked about paint and brushes and cleaning supplies. We discussed someone’s clothing and hair styles. And the like. But we also talked about the Bible quite a bit.

Is it just me? Are these conversations really more normal than I realize? Or are we just really amazingly blessed to be in a community like this?



  1. As someone NOT in a community like this, I can tell you, you are amazingly blessed! I hear Amanda talking about this kind of thing, and it blesses me because it’s the kind of community I’ve always dreamed of. In my younger, less spiritually mature days I would have been jealous. I had come to the conclusion such a thing didn’t actually exist in this life. It is such a blessing to see a community centered on Jesus, and truly getting what community is all about.

    On a different note, I have to comment on the subject of energy efficient lights. I read an article yesterday about how the compact flourescent lights the environmentalists are wanting us to all start using contain MERCURY. If you break one, it requires the area being cleaned as a hazardous waste sight. Doesn’t sound quite as environmentally sound anymore to me. (Besides which, who can put on make-up in a room lit by those things?) Here’s a link to the article, if you’re interested. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,268747,00.html

  2. Wow… that’s sufficiently disturbing.

    OK, I’m all in favor of just trying to limit excessive use of lights when they aren’t actually needed. I mean… as much as I love hazardous chemicles and all… it seems like a bit of a hassle.

    (Valid point on the makeup thing, too.)

  3. Christine – You are definitely amazingly blessed to live in such a community!

    Dorean – Very interesting article. We were just discussing these light bulbs @ work. I’m definitely printing this article out and passing it around on Monday. I personally am not inclined to clean up mercury. Thanks for sharing!

  4. OK, so I had to hit this one, too. Your comment about the paint fumes took me back a few years to when a friend and I were making puppets at the kitchen table. We were having such a great time, laughing, giggling, making jokes… After a few hours we grabbed some ice tea and took a break in the living room. About five minutes into our break, we realized we were no longer laughing… We were no longer giggling… That was the day we realized when they say to use contact cement in a well ventilated area, they aren’t kidding!

  5. Oh my goodness… this is so funny. I have a similar story that tends to pop up for me every time paint fumes are mentioned. It begins something along the lines of “A friend an I were making puppets at the kitchen table. We were having such a great time, laughing, giggling, making jokes…” That is too funny! We were freshmen in high school… and working on an english project when our puppet-making experience took place. Wow. I’m amazed.

    Can I get a witness? Heather?

  6. You’ve got to be kidding! This is a little spooky, isn’t it?

  7. Yep I am a witness…or really more of an accomplice 🙂

  8. Dorean – Spooky indeed.

    Heather – Accomplice is definitely the more appropriate label for your part in the puppet-making fun.

  9. This is kind of a tangent, but I think the identity of witness and accomplice (in light of, say, the Apocalypse and other portions of the New Testament) is worth exploring. What I mean to suggest is that there’s more participation, power, accountability in being a witness (at least in terms of the Kingdom) than I think we normally assume. Closer to instigator than bystander.

  10. Just getting to know the IHOP family its great!! Just a question is Misty Clays mum and is there more in the family in the worship team?

  11. Misty and Clay are siblings. Their sister Sommer is also on the night watch. Mom and Dad are Donna and Robert… and the lovely Donna sings on Clay’s team. 🙂

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