I recently saw a TV special about Wavy Gravy. At first, I did not recognize who this person might be, and then I realized I never had heard of him until now. He and his wife are still alive. What further interested me was that he has gone around the world doing goodwill with Larry Brilliant, whom I learned about from my University of Michigan School of Public Health years. Larry Brilliant is a physician, who helped to stamp out smallpox worldwide, a University of Michigan graduate, who also continues to go around healing those in need worldwide. He also does goodwill and shares his talents with those who are least able to help themselves. He’s gone on to do many healing global ventures.
I like the freedom that Wavy Gravy and his wife have claimed for themselves and others. I like the way they went around in a psychedelic painted school bus in their early years living freely and in peace. How through Wavy Gravy’s clowning around, he has healed many people’s lives. Those who are not afraid to look foolish are often the most authentic people I know. I can trust a person who is able to live out his/her life in authenticity.
I remember when I went to a church that serves homeless, which I was attending with my husband and fellow church members, I heard an authentic, recovering man. The homeless were encouraged to tell their stories and journey’s of faith in front of us all.
He said: “I hope Rev. Brooks doesn’t take the mike away from me too soon, because I am going to say the “f” word. (Rev. Brooks starts walking across the sanctuary of this ancient historic downtown Kansas City church).
Then the man says: “Forgiveness, I could not be where I am today without forgiveness. Forgiveness of myself, forgiveness of and from others.” We all laughed in relief. He then went on to sing a heartfelt song in his imitation of Elvis. It went to my heart. Here was another authentic person.
I am so tired of the inauthentic P.R.- made politician, the inauthentic P.R. made product that falls apart in 2 seconds. I am tired of lack of character, love, humor, freedom, peace, social justice I find in too many communities representing Jesus. I am still interested in: “What would Jesus do?” No wonder young people do not want to join a church. I pray that each of us in a church will continue to be more authentic, willing to bare our souls, to be “naked” spiritually before God. That includes me.
I am trying, Lord knows I am trying.
Peace in, peace out.