So some of you may have heard – this last Thursday afternoon the power went out in San Diego. Actually all of San Diego County and south Orange County, Riverside County, the deserts, and southern Arizona. Yep, a lot of people without power. And it went on from about four in the afternoon through three in the morning, depending on where you lived.
I arrived home to find that the power outage had led to a spontaneous “Hurrican party.” At least that is what our neighbor from Texas called it. She said that in south Texas, it was common to have a party about the time a hurricane was going to hit because the power would go out. People would gather, share food and BBQ, and wait. And you know what? Though out of character for Southern California, we all had a great time. There was dancing and talking and kids and dogs and eating in the dark recesses lit by Led lanterns and roaming flashlights and candles. Amy and I were asked about our faith and why we are “good people.” I was challenged to like football. I shared my (perhaps too) coveted homemade Chocolate Mousse. And we came home so…happy and fulfilled.
What a breath of fresh air – community!!! I have heard some very conservative Christians rue television as the bane of American culture…and for once, I kind of see why. Missions die at the foot of the screen when we can’t leave it for the people that live within a fifty foot radius. But, alas, it also connects us in a strange way – a shared experience and a cultural good that informs our current mythologies, desires, and ways of thinking.
So I say we have more power outages, even if things in this little community get messy. In fact, maybe we should have one during church and lock all of the doors except for one. Then, perhaps, I might get to know and love the person sitting five feet away.