Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the real world

The past week and a half I've been here in New Hampshire, working at Camp Brookwoods. I'm one in the Otter cabin, which means that twelve sets of parents have trusted me with their thirteen year old sons. They have no clue who I am, and yet because I'm associated with Brookwoods they believe that I will not only take care of their kids, but that I'll help those kids grow in Christ (and maybe teach them something like mountainboarding).

During worship this morning Pastor Mark said something about having a half a week left until we go back to "the real world." This is something I've been thinking about for some time now, mostly because of something Cody said to me last year (or in 2009, they all run together). He said that out there isn't the real world. That this place, this amazing place, is more real than anything we'll find back there. At the time I really didn't buy into what he was saying, but now I couldn't agree more.

This period the kids who are in Narnia (an activity where they listen to and learn about Narnia) are working through The Last Battle. In the end of the book, the kids realize that the Narnia they are in looks just like the Narnia they came from. Doctor Kirke says that the "new" Narnia is the true one and that they one they grew up knowing is merely a reflection of this true place. "This," Digory says, "is the Aslan's country."

I feel that camp is a lot like that. It's a place where you can be honest about who you are, you can trust people with who you are, and they can do the same. It's a place where, to put it simply and not mince words, the Kingdom of God is coming. And what is more real than the kingdom coming? What is more real than a place where you can sense God's presence.

This place is real life. It's as real as it gets. It's hard, it hurts sometimes, and it's real.

I hope that sometime you get the chance to get up here. And if you have been up here before, real life misses you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


How do you open a post where you're asking for help? The word "help" would probably be a good start, but it just doesn't seem to do it.

For those of you who don't know, I'm currently working two jobs: running the summer camp for the teen(os) at Harvest Hands, and working the weekends at Barista Parlor. I'm glad to be doing both, but it's pretty tough to not have any days off. The summer is two and a half weeks from being done, so I only have sixteen more days of it (positive thinking, right?). But right now I'm tired. I know that this is mostly my own fault: working two jobs, going to sleep too late and not jumping out of bed in the morning, etc. But that doesn't take away from the one glaring fact of my existence right now:

I'm worn down.

This isn't a new feeling, nor is it unexpected. I knew this would eventually happen and still pursued this lifestyle because, mostly, I wanted to see if I could handle it. Over the past six months I've: moved away from home on a whim, crashed on a friends couch for a couple months, driven my car all around, and now am working two jobs. I enjoy pushing myself and seeing what I can do. But I feel like I've pushed myself to almost the edge, so now I'm here asking for help.

Here's what I need:

A prayer. Just a short one, for good rest and patience. I need to be able to focus on the reason why I'm at Harvest Hands this summer, and how I can do the best work I can do. It's really easy to lose perspective and get tired with what I'm doing, think that I'm not doing enough, or can't make an impact.

If you have the time I could really use a blessing. Whatever that looks like from you to me.

I know that it's not comfortable to ask for these things, especially when we're supposed to be "independent" and not need help. It's not hip to ask for help, it's not cool to admit that you can't do it. But right now I'm ok with that.

And here's the other thing: I'm sure that at some point you're gonna feel the same way. If we don't live in the same city there's no way for me to know that, so please tell me. I want to help, sometimes I just need to know when and how.

Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you either way.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012


For memorial day weekend I went home to visit with the family before my summer in Nashville started. I hopped in the car on Friday morning after a stop at Barista Parlor and was home by eight that night. One of the reasons why I went home was because of these two:

My nephews, Caden and Jacob (or Cade and Jake if you like). They're pretty cute, though I suppose I am a little biased. I really did want to see Mom and Dad before they left for their trip to San Fransisco, and I wanted to see Sam and Melissa and catch up about life. But there is something about hanging out with a two and (almost) one-year-old. And they're boys, which is easy for me. 

The most special moment of the trip happened on Sunday as Sam, Melissa, Jake, Cade and myself were on our way down to Springfield for the day. If you've never crammed in a VW Pissat with two other adults and two kiddos than you won't understand the experience. And if you have, I feel for you (At one point Melissa remarked that this was perfect birth control for me, and that I would go back to Nashville and write a blog about the loud car ride to and from Springfield). There was a lull in the conversation between Sam and me and so I did what every adult does in that situation: looked back at the kids (babies are great for this. I don't know how I got through life without a baby to look at when I didn't know what to say to someone). Jake was being like his dad, loud. He wasn't fussy (yet), he was just having a really good time hollering about something. I looked back, pursed my lips and pressed my finger to them, shut my eyes tight, and said "shhhhh!!!!" He giggled, probably (correctly) thinking that Uncle Luke was being silly. Cade looked over at Jake giggling and did the same. We went back and forth a couple of times: Uncle Luke "shhhhhh-ing," Jake giggling, Cade giggling.

Out of all the things that happened that weekend, all the conversations I had, this is the event that has stuck with me. The word I think of when I think about when I think about this time, about any time with my nephews is a simple, old one:


When I think about those two I think about playing, I think about throwing them up in the air, whirling them around, tickling and blowing raspberries on tummies. I think about Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3. About big, goofy, Lancaster smiles at cameras. About play.

After thinking about that for a while I started asking myself another question:

Why don't I play anymore?

I don't call my friends up and say, "You wanna go out and play?" Because they'd probably think I was a little crazy. Or their response would be, "Play what?" And I wouldn't have much of a response to that. But is it a problem that they would respond that way? I don't think so. Deep within my heart I have a yearning to splash around creeks, tromp through the woods, bloody up knees and elbows, and come home as the sun is setting. I don't know if it needs to be planned out, or if there needs to be deep meaning attached to it. I simply want to play.

Part of me is thinking that this may just be me trying to avoid the trials of adulthood, but another part is telling me that I'm merely trying to simplify what I call adulthood. To let life be life, and to live it. 

@luketlancaster on twitter
lalaluke on instagram

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

guest post: smell the roses, blow out the candles

Every time someone decides to let me publish their words I get real excited. And then I don't do anything with those words for a long time. But I have some free time for the next hour or so (Rob is in Brentwood, and I don't have a key) and I thought I would write. I then remembered that Zach Erwin wrote a little something and I said that I would post it on my blog. That was a couple of weeks ago, so sorry to Zach for being such a bum.

Zach was one of my campers last year at Brookwoods. I'm proud of the man he's becoming, and I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to visit him in Louisville three or four times since camp. I don't know what else I can say by way of introduction, so I'll let his words speak for himself. If you'd like to get a hold of him let me know and I'll see what I can arrange. And if you'd like to post something (either as me or as yourself) let me know and let's make that happen. 

Without further ado, here are Zach's words: 

"Life, the compilation of multiple years meshed together to form lives. Each year that passes we should hold in memory, but never wish to return to that year. In Tuesday's With Morrie, a recurring theme is that it is never good to wish we were somewhere in our past, nor should we ever hope for the future to come quicker than it will.

Wishing for the past is an empty wish because if we were in the past we would never know what we had learned since then; wishing to "redo" a moment just doesn't work, because without it we would never have learned what we learned in the moment. What I'm saying is that without those moments, without those mistakes, we would never be able to be in a place where we saw that they were a mistake.

Wishing for the future to come is a wish that you will regret in the future itself. By not taking advantage of the place you are currently you are wasting your own time. If you don't look for the value in each moment you will never realize the price of that moment, that each moment holds an opportunity that you will never get back. Even now I'm sitting on the floor, bow tie and glasses on in my uncles house hours after my great aunt's funeral service; so the value of life is a little more on my mind than ever.

All around me there's a small party of talking adults -- many of which are faking there way through a conversation that they aren't interested in. Is that even practical? Is that a good way to spend life? Is typing this on an iPad a waste of my time?

I ran with Clay today, is that ok? How about chilling out with a game of Mario after a stressful day? Should one always push and press on?
The audio buzzing around me is a conglomeration of many conversations, all talking about something different: some new achievement, what they plan on doing in the future, etc. But I would bet none are talking about Christ. Why is it that so many flinch and shy away at Jesus's name? People remain civilized when they talk about Buddha and Brahman and Allah and even the ever so broad term "god," but if Jesus comes up in conversation all bets are off, lawyers called, and lawsuits filed.

What does Jesus even think of this? What does he think of how we spend our life? It's amazing that we could hear the greatest truth and walk away not talking about it. I mean come on.

John 3:16

How many eyes just rolled or people went through the verse in their mind and then toned out what they're reading now. How can we be tired of John 3:16? That's insane. "For God so loved the world" the beginning alone doesn't even make sense, much less the rest of it, "that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

They say that when you have a favorite book you wish you had not read it only because you want you could read it again for the first time with a freshness that only comes with the first reading, because there is something about reading text for the first time that holds your attention captive. Then there are those texts that even hold you for ransom and only desire the retribution of understanding.

So do we think we have paid our ransom to the Bible? Even more specifically to the text of John 3:16? How audacious of us to think we have understood this. If we have then to hell with the Bible; to hell with Christ even. If you think you have the Bible understood then you might as well do with it what you do with a book you are done with: sell it to half price books or give it away.

Some of you are offended by what I just said but if your body or mind had no reaction to John 3:16 then what I said is true. That immense truth claim should either evoke disgust, if you don't believe it; confusion, if you don't understand it; relief, if you believe it; or AT LEAST SOMETHING! Cause if it doesn't, then we're messed up. I'm not here to preach because my reaction is just the same -- no reaction at all. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand  rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." All I'm saying is that our eyes have been closed to the wonder of the scriptures that we've heard over and over and over and over again, but we have got to wake up or we will sleep for the rest of our lives."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

the wonderful wonderings of mister luke

It's been far too long since I've last posted, and even longer since I've actually written about what I've been up to. Think of this as a "state of the luke address." Chances are most of you have given up trying to figure out where I am or why I'm there, and I certainly don't blame you because I have as well. I feel as if I'm as much along for the ride as anyone else is. Below I'm going to give you a little month-by-month account of my life, starting when I left Nashville and ending a couple of minutes from now.

June 2011

I left Harvest Hands and Nashville on the 11th, the day my second nephew Caden William was born. I was in Kansas City for a little under a week, and then I went to Columbus for a wedding. After the two days in Cbus (as the natives call it) I flew into Boston, and drove up to Alton, New Hampshire for camp. During June we went canoeing a couple of times, camped on an island, learned about Jesus through a guy with my name's eyes, and generally had a pretty good time.

July 2011

Spent the entire month of July at camp. More of the same, but that wasn't a bad thing. Spent the time deepening relationships with campers and co-counselors alike and learning more about leading a program than I ever had before. Saw the first part of Captain America, figured out I was in the wrong theater, then saw Harry Potter.

August 2011

First couple of weeks spent at camp. Some of the most challenging weeks of my life. Spent three days on a hike I was supposed to be on for six, wallowed about that for a while, helped my campers put on one of the most original and exciting banquets I have had the privilege of witnessing, and then left camp. Ten days in KC with the family, then a flight back up to Boston.

September 2011

Worked the first part of September in Keen, New Hampshire at a "Bivouac" program for BB&N, a private school in Boston. Lots of firsts at this camp: self-repelled down a tree, set up and tore down ropes courses, picked heirloom apples, baked a couple of giant apple pies, etc. It was a great experience, and I hope to do it again sometime in my future. After Biv I went to Boston, bussed to New York, and then rode from there down to Charleston, SC with a camp/biv counselor. Long boarded around downtown and shrimped. Flew out of Charleston to start my life again in KC.

October 2011

Started looking for work in Kansas City while living with Mom and Dad. Applied a bunch of places and eventually started back up at Subway. I found a job at PT's in Topeka, worked in their roasting plant for three days, and couldn't bring myself to move to "Top City." Told them, got another offer to work for Parisi Coffee in their roasting facility (great location), but didn't feel happy in KC so I turned that down as well. Visited Boston at the end of the month. Played through Assassin's Creed: Revelations

November 2011

Continued work at Subway. Thanksgiving with family, more time with nephews. They're the cutest, don't even argue with me about it. Played through all the Uncharted games, while mom watched.

December 2011

Christmastime with family, more working at Subway. Switched my phone service from T-Mobile to Sprint and got a new iphone. Continued the process of thinking about moving. Loved being home for the holidays. New Years Eve at the Saucer with Melissa, Neal, and Sam (for a bit).

January 2012

Worked at Subway until late in the month. Bought my first car (2000 VW Jetta TDI, diesel) and got that squared away. Moved to Columbus, OH after an awesome geocaching roadtrip with Dad.

February 2012

Got a job at Northstar Cafe in Columbus, and an offer for another at a Chase bank. Went out for a lot of coffee with Chris during the beginning of the month.

March 2012

More work at Northstar, roadtrip with Chris to New York. I continued on through CT up to Boston seeing friends and going to National Parks. Another trip to Nashville to visit friends and gloat about Kansas doing so well to the Kentucky fans down here.

April 2012

Another trip to Nashville for Easter/to finalize work for the summer. An unexpected trip to KC for my Grandma Lucille's funeral, and a visit from Mom and Dad in Columbus. Quit Northstar on great terms, packed up the car, and moved to Nashville. Working at Harvest Hands for the summer while trying to get a research job at Vanderbilt.

That brings us to May 2012, but as it isn't finished I thought I would leave that for another time.

I hope you enjoyed being caught up on my past year, at least as much as I have enjoyed living it.

Next week I'll be posting a piece that one of my campers from last year wrote, so look forward to that. I have shut my facebook down, so if you enjoy any of my posts please feel free to share them with anyone in any way that you'd like. I'll be writing soon about why I did that, but I felt like this might lay the groundwork for that. And that nobody knows what's going on in my life and that some folks may like to know.

Oh, and I have a new fascination with sending postcards. Shoot me your address in an e-mail and the next time I'm on an adventure (let's be honest, it'll be soon) I'll drop one in the mail for you.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

how to: dish like a pro

I started reading "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck the other day (a couple of weeks ago, but "the other day" rolls off the tongue a little nicer). My copy was purchased from a used book store here in Columbus for $3.50, which makes me think the we should all be buying used books from used book stores. But that is a discussion for another day and another post. I bring up "East of Eden" because in it one brother is writing to another, and begins with: "Dear Brother Adam, I take my pen in hand to hope you are in good health" Steinbeck continues "he always started this way to ease himself gently into the task of writing."I feel that I need some phrase to ease myself into the task of blogging, because it always seems I use a paragraph to do it.

This week I hope you'll learn something. I have been working at Northstar for about two months now and wanted to pass of some of the handy tricks I have learned while busing tables. If you have any serving experience I'm sure this will be old hat, but I thought it might be fun to anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of picking up after other peoples kids.

First: let's start of with the glasses. Northstar is a classy joint (the owners would shudder if they heard me describe their restaurant like that) where we don't have customers: we have guests. Because of this we only stack things two high, and pint glasses don't get stacked at all. When you get to the table you'll need to assess how many items you'll be able to carry. Don't worry if it seems overwhelming, you'll get it down quickly enough.

Ok. Step one in carrying glasses. Put on in between your thumb and index finger and grip. Like this:

Great! Now you'll add another glass, taken care of by your other fingers (middle, ring, pinky in case you forgot which ones you had left).

As you can see, the glass is being gripped in between the pinky and index, while being supported by the middle and ring fingers. If your grip is sure enough you'll be able to hold the glasses upside down without any problem. Don't do this at work though, the partners will get a little cross. On to the next glass!

This one is a little tricky. Balance the third glass in your palm, resting it against the first two if need be. Don't try the upside down trick now. Glasses are expensive.

Now on to plates. You can hold up to six at a time like this, but I'm going to show you three. I've been doing it all day, so I thought I'd take a break.

Place the plate in between your thumb and pinky finger, supporting it with your index, middle, and ring fingers. Easy peasy.

The next plate goes under the first, with your middle finger under it and your index and ring fingers above it. These three fingers act like a kind of vice to keep the plate steady.

Balance the third plate on the platform created by your forearm and palm, above the first plate. If you double up each plate you can get six without too much of a problem. You should also be able to carry plates full of food like this pretty easily, give it a try!


Mix it up! Try to carry a combination of plates and glasses! See what you can accomplish!


I realize that this is all a bit silly. But during my orientation at Northstar I (for some reason I've not forgotten) brought up an idea: the idea that everybody is looking to grow and develop, to become more than they are, to learn. Kevin, the owner, said that he simply didn't believe that was true. And while it may not be his point still made me sad. I have a desire in me to learn, to master things. To be better tomorrow than I am today. And I hope that you have the same drive in you. I don't know if you have learned anything today, but I hope that by reading this you are a bit more developed. A bit more knowledgeable. A bit more ready to serve even.


Monday, March 19, 2012

the grass is always greener

I was thinking about this statement the other day. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I asked a friend, Laura, what she thought of it and she gave the answer that most of us probably would:

In the classical, romantic sense we have a tendency to idealize what we don't have. "If I just move, get another job, date someone prettier/more like me/less like me, THEN I'll be happy." I think there's truth to thinking about the statement like this. We have desires placed inside of us that we seem unable to satiate, no matter how hard we try. We find that our life situation isn't making us happy, so we seek to change it. We look for greener pastures, for wells that haven't run dry, or for easier living. Everyone, at some time, has thought about a change. But it also seems to be true that everyone has, at another time, cursed change when it comes without being invited.

That's neither here nor there, back to the point I'm wondering to.

I work at a restaurant called Northsar Cafe. Northstar was an early-comer the organic food craze, and because of this and their continued commitment to serving food that is good and good for you they've been successful. I was given a book called "The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals" during my orientation to the company. I, somewhat begrudgingly, started to read. Four days later I put it down and was a little more informed and opinionated about what constitutes "food" and what "food" I want to put in my body. I bring this book up because in one section the author, Michael Pollan, visits Polyface Farm. The farmer, Joel Salatin, practices a somewhat complex system of crop and animal rotation with the goal of a "closed loop" farm system. This means that the soil is naturally replenished, the animals are fed with what we cannot eat, and the crops are planted and farmed in a sustainable fashion. For a self-professed intellectual this fascinated me.

I bring up Joel's farm because after reading about it I started thinking of this cliche in a much more pastoral sense. When looking through the worldview of farmer Joel, the grass is always greener on the other side. The grass is always greener simply because the animals are not there. Where the animals are the grass has been eaten, processed, and pooped out. Where there aren't it, the grass, is lush and ready to have that whole process done to it. This is all a part of the plan of this farm: turning solar energy in to caloric energy that we can process.

So what if Jesus is the good shepherd, as He claims to be? Isn't there the chance that the grass is greener on the other side? That He is preparing these green pastures for you, and for me? And that by holding onto anachronisms all we are saying is that we don't trust, don't have faith?

I understand the need for being stationary, but I also feel this desire in me for movement. For travel. For being someplace new and exciting. Someday I may "settle down." But I choose to believe that not only the grass is greener on the other side, but that it's greener because the good shepherd is preparing it for me. And you.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


The other night Jessica and I were hanging out and instagram came up. I mentioned to her that the reason why I like instagram is because it looks like what I want my social media experience to look like. If I were to have a "do-over" with facebook I'm sure that it would look a little different for me, which is to say that certain people wouldn't show up so much on my homepage. I like instagram so much because I'm so selective about who I follow. I do this because I don't need to see how much one person loves another person every day. I'm glad, but that's just not something that needs to go into my head, because it makes me feel lonely. That, I'm sure, says more about me than you.

But why bring up instagram at all? Well lately I've been wanting to take a picture, throw a "retro" filter on it, and write a witty caption. But I find myself not interested in doing that. For example: this evening the moon was out, and it was making a statement. It wanted to be felt. It was a pale blue, larger than you could believe, and was forcing itself onto the coming evening. 

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But who's words? If you are looking at a picture I took, are they my thousand or yours? Or perhaps someone else? Or maybe five hundred of mine, five hundred of yours. I think that if you are looking at my picture you are thinking all your own words. You're thinking about how pretty it is, how hungry it makes you, how much you want some pie, about why I took that picture of myself, et cetera. But you are thinking your words.

I wanted to take that picture of the moon because it was making me feel things, and I wanted to communicate those feelings. And I didn't take the picture of the moon because no instagram photo, facebook status, tweet, letter, phone call, or text could convey the moment. Nothing short of being there with me could do that. I wanted to share that moment in it's entirety with someone and I don't think there's any other way to do that other than being present. I don't think that there will ever be a way to share the kinds of feelings you experience in a moment through radio waves, phone lines, or the internet.

While I was thinking about this I was trying to come up with a conclusion, because that's what I've been taught to do. And I couldn't really think of one. I wanna be with someone? Well, yeah, but that's already known by anyone who: 1. Knows me, and: 2. Is a person who also wants to be with someone. A post on the evils of technology and their inability to communicate the human experience? I suppose that's what it's turned into, but I didn't want it to feel like that.

So I don't know how to conclude this. Enjoy other people? If you get the chance to look at the moon, do it? Don't get your feelings hurt if I don't follow you on some form of social media? Yeah, I think those work.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

how to: get a job

That's the question: how to get a job. With the national unemployment reading 32%, or something, more and more people are looking for work. And with the average friend of mine just graduating from college more and more of those people are looking for work as well. I hope this will be not only an informative, but a helpful post as well.

First off: my credentials. I've held down five jobs in the last year and been offered four more on top of those. Now a couple of those jobs have been seasonal, but I received w-2's for them so I believe they count. I have also filled out applications and polished my resume more times than I care to count for positions I didn't get or get offered. So know that when I write this it is out of the vast experience I have had over the past couple of years.

Things you will need:

1. Thick skin. You're probably going to get rejected. This won't look like someone saying "no" to you. It'll probably look more like someone ignoring that you even turned your resume in. It's alright, rejection is the spice of life. Or the crappy side that comes with the meal. One of those.

2. A computer. It's 2012, probably shouldn't even mention this since this is on a blog on the internet, but I want to be thorough.

3. An extra resume or completed application.

4. A moleskine journal and uniball vision elite ultra fine line pen. Or your version of these things, but these are the best.

5. Some kind of experience. Life will usually do.

So what do you do with these things?

Well, you need to find a job that you are somewhat qualified for. And by this I mean that you have enough "give" in your experience to make it sound like you should be hired. "I started a coffee roasting company" sounds a lot better than "I bunged around a new business for a year with my psychology degree and eventually figured it out." You are qualified for any job, just be creative with your experience. Don't lie...color.

Once you've found that job, apply to it. This is where the extra application comes in handy. If you have to fill it out from scratch every time it'll take forever. But if you have the extra it's a simple copy/paste job. Easy and not nearly as frustrating as it could have been, right?

After you have turned the application or your resume in wait a day. Then pull out the big guns. Common wisdom would say that you need to call them. But, again, this is 2012. If you're dealing with someone who is anywhere close to your age shoot them an e-mail with an abbreviated version of your cover letter. Flatter them, just a little. "Your coffee-shop is my favorite place to go," "you research piqued my interest," "I don't often eat sandwiches, but when I do I eat subway." You get the picture. I say e-mail them because it's less threatening, but also because I get super nervous when I call people on the phone. One day I'll grow out of it, promise.

After this you're sure to get an interview. I only have one tip for interviewing, besides "being yourself" and all that. The killer app for interviewing is to, at some point, say:

"I really think that the important thing to focus on is the details. If you make sure that you get those done with excellence, than the big stuff will follow."

You should also probably believe this, because that will go a long way, but I don't know if that's totally necessary. This is probably a line that works best with your standard entry-level position. If you're applying for a CEO position I don't know if that'd help. But do send me an e-mail, I know a guy who's detail oriented.

After following these tips you are going to be inundated with offers and you'll have your pick of the litter.

One word of encouragement: keep at it. Looking for jobs sucks, is "the worst." I've been there. You aren't alone. Life does go on, and eventually we'll all find something. That's the hope I have, and the faith I have about it as well.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Jan 30

I want the lord to move within me but I don't know how to let him

My spirit is more akin to mud than water my blood flows thick and slow

I desire holiness and act in sin

I want to want the presence of god because that's what I'm supposed to do

I've been taught to say the right things to hide my true self and so encourage people

I'm terrified that no one feels the way I feel

I'm scared of being alone

I want a companion, I wish that companion could be god but want flesh

I want clarity but all I know is opacity

My life is closed off to all but me

If god knows my innermost thoughts than I fear he's left me

I've never been fully convinced of the reality of god

I've always wanted to live a life of faith

I want community true and deep

Thursday, January 19, 2012

luke being luke

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm an introspective person. I like to think. Think about me, think about you, think about work, think about relationships, think about the future, think about the past, even think about thinking. I also like to think that I'm a pretty observant person. Maybe not about the things around me, but at least about the people around me. And one thing I've noticed, about myself, is that I don't seem to be the type of person that people see and want to strike a conversation up with. I'm the guy who people sit by last on the plane when all the other seats are filled. It takes about fifteen visits to a place for me to be recognized. I blend in.

The best example I have about this is Gabby's, one of my favorite places in Nashville. I went to Gabby's (at least) once a week for, probably, a year and a half. And it took a solid month and a half for the employees to take notice, to start conversing with me. Now, if I go back, they celebrate like the prodigal son is returning. What a good feeling.

I think this is part of the reason why I haven't found any places, haunts, in Kansas City. It just takes so damn long for me. And I'm tired. I'm tired of having to conintually throw myself out there, tired of not being the guy who gets noticed right off the bat.

But at the same time I know this is who I am. I know that once someone gets to know me chances are they'll like me. And I know that I'll like them, too. I know that after a month and a half I'll have a great relationship with that coffee shop, restaurant, church even. And I know that I need to continue to be myself, and part of who that is is the guy who keeps plugging along. Who keeps going into the same burger joint ordering the same thing with the hope that I'll become a regular. And you know what? It'll happen.

Now I'd like to give you two assignments. I know that, on average, I get fourty-five views per post. So there should be about that many people doing this. I promise it won't take long.

1. Think about yourself. What kind of person are you? And are you being yourself? Are you happy with that, or would you rather be something or someone else?

Now the second assignment is more in jest. I would like a laugh, and need for you to help me. If you have read this far please respond: just post (or e-mail/facebook message/text me) your answer.

2. I think that one way you can find out something about yourself is by taking your last name (in my case it's Lancaster, FYI), adding "the" before it, and "special" after. "The Lancaster Special." What do you think of when you think of that:

The Lancaster Special:

A sandwich with at least two different types of meat, bbq sauce and spicy mustard, pepperjack and provelone cheeses, tomatoes and pickles. Grilled or toasted.

That's what I think of. So how about you? What do you think of? Please, in the name of science and good-natured humor, respond.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

something different

Just a little change of paste this time around. Let me know what you think.

Yesterday morning I woke up early. Real early. I'm talking "some people are just getting to bed early". Why don't I just specify a time? Good Question. It was 4:10. I decided I'd go for a ride through town and just see what makes this town tick. It was cold out so I grabbed a jacket and gloves, and then revved up the motorcycle for an evening stroll. And this my friends, was the beginning of a very strange night.

The road, as expected, was empty. Fast food wrappers drifted about on the sidewalks as a brisk wind had taken hold. And yet it struck me as odd how an empty road in the cold suburbs of Kansas City could be so nostalgic. There was no good reason for this nostalgia, and today I have tried to make sense of the feeling but to no avail. Looking back, it was as if I knew something was going to happen. Something amazing I wouldn't soon forget. I pulled up to a park I once frequented and dismounted the hopefully-soon-to-be-sold bike (any takers?). The park has lights along the fringes illuminating a walkway through the grass. I was severely unprepared for the cold, and was shivering intensely, yet decided to keep walking (the temperature drops at night? who knew!). About a quarter way down the walkway toward the other end of the park, I saw a man by one of the far lampposts. He was also cold. Rubbing his hands together furiously, tapping his right foot, the man was more prepared than me, with a winter hat and neck warmer to show for it, yet as I came closer to him, it was clear he was waiting for somebody. And when I could see the whites of his eyes, it was clear that somebody was me.

"Luke?" he asked. He knew I was Luke, but asked anyway, maybe he's not great with names.

"Yes? Do I know you?"

He pulled his neck warmer down from his mouth, as if expecting me to say "Oh, of course, the aerobics instructor!", but instead I just waited for further, preferable verbal, explanation.

"Nothing? You don't recognize me at all?"

"I'm usually so good with faces too, I'm really sorry."

"Well, I'm not gonna bail you out so easy, you're gonnna have to figure it out. Follow me."

We walked down the rest of the walkway, quiet. And as you might expect I was pretty nervous. How did he know who I was? How did he know I would be here? Could this guy be dangerous? I began to assume I was mixed up in some North by Northwest scenario.

"You know Luke, I didn't think you were gonna show up there for a second. And I didn't know how many more nights I would wait for you."

"Excuse me". (I tried to say this as composed as possible, but inside I was saying, "Who would win a fight, me or this old guy" He looked to be about 50).

"Well Kansas City winters aren't the easiest, and at my age the joints act up after a while in the cold"

At first I smiled because I began to think I was caught in some sort of Aleve commercial, but then I thought "I wonder if I could beat him back to my motorcycle".

"Well you probably could Luke, I'm not that fast a guy, and these shoes offer anything but traction." For the first time I noticed he was wearing slippers.

"Excuse Me?"

"You wondered if you were faster than me, I was just saying you probably are".

At this point there was no turning back, because as my Aunt Sally once told me "Once they start reading your mind, you're pretty much roped in'.

"Well, here we go Luke"

The man then unlocked the door to a business of some sort, and said, "After you".

I entered, because at this point, I figured I was dead no matter what happened, might as well have fun with it.

There were two cups of coffee on a table waiting for us, one had a note that said, 'Just how Luke Likes it". And it was. (If you want to know how to prepare coffee "Just how Luke likes it" call me).

"Luke, have you figured it out yet?"

"No sir, I haven't"

'Well, I guess some people were just born dumb."


He looked up from his coffee for a second then said, "That joke sure didn't land. You know, sometimes I think it'd be better if I just didn't joke at all, but heck, i wouldn't get to see that look on your face would I?"
I did indeed have a peculiar look on my face, and I think its because it had just hit me that I had just followed a stranger into a building at 4:45 AM and was now drinking a mysterious cup of coffee he had provided. If this wasn't a picture perfect kidnapping scheme then I don't know what is. And to think I had finally made it out of the possible-kindapping-vicitim age. I guessed all I could do now was wait for the drugs to kick in.

He let out a low melodious chuckle, "Luke, its not spiked. If we were going to spike your coffee, don't you think we wouldn't have gone through the trouble of using a fresh Colombian roast?'

I was now wondering who the "we" was, but then remembered that he could indeed read my thoughts so I quickly tried to think of nothing.

"It's just the guys and me Luke, and of course I can see your thoughts. What are thoughts anyway, but words were to afraid to utter".

He stood up and started to put on his coat.

"Well I guess I shouldn't expect you to remember after all these years. But man did we hang out a lot back then Luke. And me, you, and the guys did whatever we wanted. We had all the time in the world to hang out, well, nearly."

He started to make for the door.

"Wait, was the point of this? What's going on? And most importantly, who the heck are you?"

A nice combination of confused and offended, the man said, "What? A couple of old friends can't have cup of coffee together?" He smiled and opened the door. "Don't let it be this long before I see you again Luke." Then he winked and walked out, whistling as he walked down the road.

And as for me, my motorcycle was right outside the door on the curb. I got on and rode home, dazed but content, confused but at peace.

Merry (late) Christmas Everyone.