I used to live in America. I used to enjoy the comfort of a bed with no mosquito net, and live without fear of spiders the size of my fist. Where I could drink cool water from my faucet knowing that some small critter was not about to enjoy my insides without my approval, though I don’t think I would ever approve of a small critter making his abode in my large intestine.
I left my home where I could step out of my house and within five minutes be holding one of the best americanos around. To you coffee connoisseurs, I encourage you to be ok with breaking your commitment of only allowing exquisite coffee to enter your body. If you don’t, you won’t last in my new neighborhood.
Sunday, I slept through a large earthquake. Tuesday, pictures of Taiwanese riding inflatable whales in front of 7-eleven, due to flooding, emerged. They make inflatable whales here. I was awake for yesterday’s earthquake, and I am excited for the typhoon en route for this island. I have never been in a typhoon before, but I love the band Typhoon so it should be great. Rainy Oregon, eat your heart out.
Did I mention flying cockroaches?
I dropped everything I had in Oregon three months ago and hitched a ride to Taiwan. It was never a part of my plan. Four months ago I would have told you I was headed north to work on music, or headed south to work on writing. If you had asked me I would have also thrown in the option of installing synthetic turf fields, the ones the big leagues play on, in Guatemala. Or maybe I told you I am Portland bound to finish my undergrad. I was a bag so full of ideas that Santa would have had trouble carrying it. Living in Taiwan was not in the bag. Working with a bunch of men and woman passionately serving the very God I had been disconnected from, for who knows how long, was never the game plan.
Three years ago I was teaching life skills to high school students in the largest slum in South Africa. I hate to use these words because of the stigma they carry, and heaven forbid a christian feel anything except melancholy, but I was full of joy, passion, and excitement.
160 days ago I woke up late for work with a wine hangover. Heavily depressed, but you would have never known, because I had maintained the “young man after God’s own heart, teaching kids in some foreign country life skills” disguise. I attribute my clever disguise to my smile and the street-cred that comes with returning home from one of the nation’s most prestigious bible colleges. My smile was paid for by my parents and two years of braces. The bible college taught me the theology of church fathers, and how to roll fantastic cigarettes. It also helped that I would play for my church on Sundays. Gotta’ keep appearance up so no one knows how jacked up I really am. I also forgot to mention that, IAM NickEdwards: Amazing at social media preservation.
Some where between Africa, and the house located in an area deemed “the Highland Hood” in Salem, Oregon I entered into a deceptive relationship. Not a relationship with a girl, or a guy, but a relationship with God. And it took me leaving everything I knew and was comfortable with to realize just how gnarly my relationship with God had become. To look up from my boat, and realize how far down stream I had drifted.
When I packed my suitcase-and-a-half full and came to Taiwan I said goodbye to the worst relationship I was ever in. My old relationship with a god. When I said goodbye to it, I welcomed a new relationship with God. In his mercy he took me from my own delusion, a god based on compromise, drunken nights to which I would show the condemnation police my “Grace- Get outta’ hell free” card.
Maybe you are upset to find out I was on stage with a hangover. I’ll take that. Maybe this resonates with your past. Maybe it resonates with you currently, to which I would tell you, “Get outta’ your compromised relationship with whoever you have turned God into, and enter into a relationship with the God that brings life, joy in pain, joy for the sake of joy, and salvation. And so much more.”