Two-fer Tuesday: Outside the Box by Deacon Blue

floor_cubed1Sometimes, I wonder—as I suppose many of us do—what my life might have been like under other circumstances.

What if I had been raised in a mostly white city or state instead of being raised in the Bay Area of California, where Asians and Hispanics abounded? Had that been the case, I might not be the kind of person who, for the most part, doesn’t focus on race (mind you, this isn’t me tooting my horn; my relatively high level of color myopia—because no one is color blind—isn’t some great achievement; it’s just who I am, and it can cut in bad ways as well as good ones, like when I don’t notice a racial slight against my wife by someone). In which case, I wouldn’t have my current wife most likely. Or children.

What if I had been born under greater or lesser economic circumstances than what I have been? What if I couldn’t conceive of being able to ever pay anything? Might I have turned out to be a hard-assed criminal to get by instead of a goofy nerd? Might I have embraced the idea of fleecing the system and using other people, like some people I have known casually and been related to? If I had been born rich, would I see people in need as worthless leeches instead of, well, people in need?

And in terms of my faith, would I still be a Christian in name only, and empty in terms of my actual walk with God, if I hadn’t met Mrs. Blue, back in the days before she had my last name tacked on with hers? That might be the biggest “what if” for me. I spent so much of my life having been born and raised Catholic, but with God almost never on my mind.

It wasn’t until I started going to church while dating Mrs. Blue (at her father’s church, mind you) that I started looking at the Bible again and really reading it and thinking about it. Viewing it with a fresh set of adult eyes and instead of just viewing it with skepticism, really looking into the underlying themes of separation and redemption and seeing how it made sense, really.

Thinking outside the box, if I hadn’t started dating Mrs. Blue, I probably wouldn’t be born again. I probably wouldn’t be thinking much about God. And for those of you out there who think it’s foolish for me to think of God as a real being, know this: I am a better person for having started my faith walk. Not a perfect person. And, frankly, I wasn’t a bad person before. People liked me and I was a pretty decent sort. I had compassion and lots of other positive qualities.

But the way I approach life is different now, and more deeply humane I think. My ability to weather the storms of life is better now that I can lean on the Holy Spirit for strength as needed. I still get knocked on my ass, but not as much as before.

Faith has given me reservoirs of love and endurance that are above and beyond whatever I had before. A person can knock my Christian faith as silly supersition all he or she wants. But faith is something that, properly harnessed, make a person something more than they would have been otherwise.

I’m thankful that I can think outside the box and only wonder what would have happened if my wife hadn’t been an example to lead me to seek out Jesus. Because there are many people who are still stuck inside boxes. I hope they can not only think their way out of them, but feel their way out through faith.

For the record, and as an afternote, yes, I can (and do) think outside the box of my own faith to consider the notion that I might be wrong about my beliefs or that there may be no God. I am inexorably drawn back to a firm grounding in my faith and in Jesus for many different reasons. But I’m not so rigid that I cannot carry opposing viewpoints and thoughts in my skull along with my long-established ones.


8 Responses to “Two-fer Tuesday: Outside the Box by Deacon Blue”

  1. December 9, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    What inspired this post?

    It was a thoughtful read and I share many of your feelings about faith. Once you really grasp what God is talking about, it opens your mind and heart in amazing ways.

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    December 9, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    To be honest, I just didn’t have a really inspired theme for today’s Two-fer Tuesday and just picked the phrase “Thinking Outside the Box” to see where it would take me and Miz Pink.

    Clearly, in two very different directions.

    But really, this post flowed solely out of taking that phrase and then running with it. I didn’t think much about what I was writing nor did I spend much time typing or tinkering with it. Just let it flow out, so I’m kind of surprised it made any sense. 😉

    Glad it did, though.

  3. December 10, 2008 at 12:32 am


    Here’s outside the box: God = I Am.


  4. 4 Deacon Blue
    December 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Are you trying to get my head to explode, First Domino? I haven’t had enough coffee yet for this level of intellectual intercourse

    …thoughts…too deep…philosophical circuits…overheating…


  5. 5 thewordofme
    December 10, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Deacon,

    Hope you are doing well.

    As I was reading your latest post I happened to notice your ‘Books I Love’ list.
    The top one ‘The Sparrow’ was the first book I ever ordered off the internet…years ago.
    Really good story and very good exposition of Catholic thinking.

    Have a great day and say hi to Miz Pink.


  6. 6 Deacon Blue
    December 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    The book is definitely a good one. And I like the positive spin it puts on the Vatican, flawed though I think the institution is overall. Even in the making of mistakes and manipulating some people in the story, it was a Vatican that had good intentions.

    Almost…almost…makes me feel guilty for making the Vatican so much more villainous in that novel I’ve been writing here on the blog. 😛

  7. 7 Inda Pink
    December 10, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Say “hi” to me? Say hi to me yourself. Have my very own Two-fer Tuesday post you can do it at to. What is this? Junior high? LOL

    Seriously thought Deke was only able to pass your hello along as fast as he did because we were IM-ing each other. We’re not exactly next door neighbors…

  8. 8 Deacon Blue
    December 24, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Posting this on behalf of a visitor who tried to post but who got foiled by the malicious demons of the Internet and e-mailed me instead. 😉


    Hi Deacon,

    I read this post today (https://holyhell.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/two-fer-tuesday-outside-the-box-by-deacon-blue/) and I tried to comment on it but I was re-directed to a “The page cannot be displayed” window so I gave up. But it hit home with me because I have been reading and thinking outside the box. I grew up not knowing anything about my faith other than what you can learn at Easter & Christmas. Now, I find it intersting to hear the arguments against Christianity so I enjoy reading about other theories and opinions – I do not take it as turning my back on God or being swayed by every passing doctrine.

    A lot of people take my questions and openmindedness as a sign of weakness & disrespect. I personally think hearing the arguments strengthens my own faith when I, or someone more knowledged in God’s word, can disprove the “other” theories.

    Just my comment,
    Lady Onyx

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


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