“Stuck” is a fictional name for small town America.
I’m a southern conservative Christian from a small town. People from other places call our town Stuck. Some say we’re narrow-minded because this is what people do when others reject their ideas—they name call to advance their position, to belittle others. I’m okay with this. They can call us Stuck because I know we’re anything but stuck. We know exactly what we believe and we don’t mind talking about it to anyone willing to sit for strawberry pie.
Our town might not agree on the best recipe for chicken and dumplings, but we hold tight to our convictions about general living. We take offense to high-minded folk who walk in with fancy degrees pushing divisive ideas into our lunch box. Some people haven’t understood why they don’t fit here. Well this is it. I can run my car through a window, but stomping on the heart of our roots is a misdemeanor not easily overlooked.
Chivalry is still an important characteristic of our culture. Through the decades the meaning of the word has been lost. It refers to a feminine appreciation of gentlemanly conduct such as opening the door, carrying heavy items, and a polite rising to stand when greeting a woman. In Stuck we appreciate gentlemen. Yet, we realize some women like to blast men, therefore, we leave it to them to install their own washing machines.
We value men who repair toilets, install curtain rods, and walk up ladders so we can move onto the more important issues such as deciding which restaurant to eat at tonight. Yes, things have changed, even in Stuck. We don’t always use our kitchens, but rather depend on Aunt Bessie for the fried chicken dinners—although ultimately we cleave to the notion home-cooked is better.
I found my roots in Stuck. It was here I became comfortable in my own skin—accepted as if I’d always lived here. Their big hearts embraced me as if I were their own child from the cradle—so different from other towns where I felt like a deer in a forest full of hunters.
Big cities have big ideas. I’m for progress if it’s truly advancement and not regression dressed up like a large load of manure. Being Southern doesn’t mean stupid and simply being non-southern doesn’t indicate brilliant. Leave us to pick in our strawberry fields and we’ll let them find their produce at Wal-Mart.
Stuck’s temperament is like an extended hug. This gift requires a little unwrapping to survive in a small town. We like to pack our suitcases for brief trips outside the community, but our souls are fed in our own backyard. It’s not necessary to dream of fame beyond here because we’ve already achieved what’s truly important. God. Family. Friends. Purpose.
People from Stuck don’t complicate things that are simple.
We believe Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin. It saddens me that this offends some folk because I can’t make this pretty. No one can. In fact it was brutal. His crucifixion represented the huge divide between the wicked and the righteous, a symbol as plain as daylight to us in Stuck.
In cities people tend to cover up their sin with arguments. It’s much harder to do in a small town.
Sin isn’t simple. It’s irrational, mean, and ambitious. It complicates lives and sends people down twisted paths piled high with dirty underwear. Nobody wants to dig in the laundry to sort it out for washing. At the bottom of the basket a woman may discover a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, read it in the bathtub and wonder why she still feels dirty. After all, it was a secret.
We suggest a dive in the river of forgiveness staying down under until Jesus cleanses our innards.
Some of us folk in Stuck are a holy people and we’re madder than a bantam rooster at politicians, Hollywood, and the teachers’ union for corrupting our children. We care too much to just accept it. In our fight we’ll use weapons the big city doesn’t know about. We’ll fight on our knees, in our sleep, and without relenting until we defeat corruption. And it will die one day—banished from the face of the earth and we will live in peace with our Lord. Read the Bible. In the end, we win. Jesus reigns.