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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014
She says she is coming home tonight. There is still time to do more laundry and clean. But first, we worship. Then we'll wash. And prepare Tebow for the big event.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
So that's where you went. Florida. To see your dad for his 89th birthday. And your brother. You all look radiant. Have fun at the beach!!

Friday, April 18, 2014
The house was quiet. No rustling around in the kitchen. No laundry going. I cleaned out a full lint trap. Colin was 100. The bird has no water. There's a crack in the tube, I think.

Tebow stretched and ran from room to room, then crawled up on the chair at my feet and gave up.

It's cloudy, almost like creation knows something. The air is cool outside. No bus running at 7:00. No sound of the annoying Pilates woman on the computer. No one making soap. No one wearing the plastic shield over their face. And there is a lot of water in the filter. I'm talking a lot.

These are the things I think about on day 2.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Day 1.

Took her to the airport. Watched her walk inside with the rolling suitcase. Got back in the car and turned on the radio. This is why I don't listen to the radio, I get angry.

Went home to work and supervise. Dog wouldn't leave me alone. Looked at me with those pleading eyes. "Where is she?"

Walked around in a stupor. All the life has gone out of the house. Is there a reason to live?

Went to the mailbox and found a Kohl's coupon. She would have loved this.

But she's only gone till Sunday.

Still, that's a lot of laundry.

Let Kaitlyn drive home from the gas station. Didn't get to tell her about it. She would have loved to hear about how terrifying it all was, not because Kaitlyn drove poorly, she did fine. Terrifying because she's growing up. And we're growing old.

Dog still clingy.

Day 1 coming to an end.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
My thesis is this: Living at the level of outrage is counterproductive to the authentic Christian life. If outrage drives your life, you will not be able to follow Jesus, you will more likely live in a constant state of frustration rather than peace and contentment.

I’ve noticed something about Christians lately. We live for the next outrage. We’re looking for a place to stand, a place to sink a stake in the ground, to show righteous indignation. To change the culture, change a person, change the world, and the so far the world has been resistant and Christians are frustrated.

The change we desire might be a political, social, or a moral cause, or even an individual heart, but more often our outrage is about something smaller. A movie. A book. What someone wore on a TV show. Lyrics to a song we find offensive. Someone cutting me off in traffic, even.

We become outraged because we care. Because we’re passionate. Because we want to make the world a better place. But at its core, our outrage has little to do with righteousness or justice and more to do with making the world like we want the world to be. In a sense, our outrage is not at the film director, the author of the book or the lyricist of the song, at the core, our outrage is at God himself for not doing things like we would have him do.

My outrage.

Usually what angers me most is what I see others do that I can’t stand in myself.

Outrage is easy. It comes naturally. Love is hard. I have to work at it.

Outrage is fear in respectable clothes. Outrage makes me feel better, like I’ve done something constructive. It feels like weeding life’s garden, but at its core it’s a visceral reaction that’s all about me and my desire to see things fall into place. I am outraged because life is messy and not neat like I want it.

As I wrote this, I was sitting at the front of a grocery store in a café with two baristas around the corner making caffeinated drinks for tired people. I was alone at a table in the corner with my laptop plugged into the wall.

A man approached and glanced my way. Then, moved into the line and finally returned with a drink and settled into a leather chair.

“Anybody say anything to you about being here?”

“No, should they have?”

“The other day I was here and the manager came back and told me I had to leave. She said I was loitering.” He held up his iced coffee. “This should buy me twenty minutes.”

The bile rose. Why would you have a café at the front if you didn’t want people to sit there? Why would they offer wifi? Quickly my mind wandered to the law. What are the rules for business establishments and people sitting in the same spot for extended periods?

This outraged me. How many times have I shopped here and bought hundreds of dollars worth of groceries? Why would a manager chase away paying customers?

So I prepared my speech for the manager. I was ready for her to come around the corner because my new friend said she was working the first register. Then, to make things more respectable, I bought a tall coffee, paid 1.95 to prove that I wasn’t just “loitering.”

And I waited.

I waited for her to see me, to find me, to accuse me. I waited for an altercation, all the while seething inside over times in the past when I had been similarly inconvenienced by someone insensitive to my needs. Like the guy at the repair shop who “fixed” my window the other day and charged me nearly $300. Only the window won’t roll down now. It’s stuck. I was outraged. I still am. I was outraged by his response when I called back to have them “fix” it again.

This happens every day, particularly on talk radio. Hosts fuel the sense of outrage by bringing up topics that inflame our sense of injustice. And we think that by having a strong opinion about a political figure or an issue that we’re doing something with the outrage. We’re giving voice to it. We’re outraged at the left or progressives or the President or the religious right or Westboro Baptist or what Pat Robertson said. We’re outraged at how unbiblical the film Noah is or we’re outraged at people who are outraged about it. Or that church is silent on this issue or that issue.

Last week, it feels like last year, World Vision made a decision that had people so outraged they canceled their support of hungry children in foreign lands. The issue was gay marriage and biblical authority. People who saw this decision by World Vision as good were so outraged that Christians would act this way that they called up to support children. Then World Vision reversed their policy. Some were calmed, others were outraged. And the cycle continues.

In the middle of that discussion I asked one of my favorite questions: What does love look like? With the World Vision decision, pre and post, what does love look like for the Christian who wants to follow in the footsteps of Jesus? What does it look like to live and love the people who made the decision, the people who chose to pull their support, and all in the middle?

When I asked that question on the air, a man wrote and called me an idiot. Twice in the same email he used the word “idiot” because I pondered what Jesus would do, how he would act, how love would move into the world. This man was outraged. I was soft on sin because I dared to bring up the issue of “love” when dealing with the hot potato of gay marriage.

At times Jesus was angry. At times he wept. Sometimes he simply listened and then responded with a question or a story or a riddle. But I would say the guiding force of his life was not outrage. God was not so outraged by the world that he gave his only Son. God did not give his only Son because he was so fuming mad. God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son.

I understand the man who was upset with me and called me an idiot because this is where I live. I live at the level of outrage. I live on the plains of Indignation. And I’m desperately trying to move to some distant town in the hills that is not as barren as this valley. It’s more comfortable to live with measurable anger and angst. The outrage fuels me, pushes me toward the next thing that ticks me off. Toward the manager in the café at the grocery store who will see me and tell me I need to move along, that I’m loitering.

I can live at that level, ready to respond with some snappy retort or file a lawsuit, or, like Jesus, I can move into that person’s life with kindness and understanding. I can ask myself, “I wonder why she would treat a paying customer that way? I wonder what’s going on that would cause her to want to expel the very people that pay her salary?” Is it because young people have vandalized that area or taken advantage of a place where employees can have a break? Is it because she’s as much of a control freak as I am and this little bit of authority makes her feel better at life? Is it because she has a bad marriage or no marriage or a child with a disability? What’s going on in her life?

Maybe I am an idiot for asking the question. Maybe I’m losing my passion for truth. Or, perhaps, I’m being moved along by something greater than my passion to make the world bow to me and my vision of what would be best. Maybe the fuel of my life is changing from outrage to compassion. Maybe I am being dragged, kicking and screaming, to live at the level of love.

I sat in the café and hour and a half and the manager never showed up. My coffee was gone. And so was cup of outrage.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
March 25, 1985. My wife gave birth to our firstborn and we stared at that little miracle with tears. Later that night, after they were tucked snugly in bed, I floated onto the Chicago streets. It was 3 in the morning but I wasn’t scared to walk home. I was a dad.

But things changed two days later. I pulled up to the hospital in our Plymouth Horizon, a gift from Andrea’s parents, and strapped Erin in and drove her home.

As our family grew, we needed a larger car. We bought a Ford Taurus station wagon with a rear facing third seat. Cloth, of course. Erin and Megan loved to wave at semis from back there.

It was that maroon Ford Taurus that we drove to camp one summer, and when Erin wouldn’t stop whatever she was doing, I can’t remember what, I pulled over and made her ride in the third seat with the sleeping bags.

Then came the Chevy Suburban. Near a dusty cornfield in Indiana I pulled over and pulled Erin out. (There is a theme here.) I spoke forcefully but I didn’t know her love language. From the open window came my wife’s worried voice, “Please don’t hurt my baby!”

Then came the 15 passenger van Erin hated. And another Suburban. And by this time, she was driving. Those were wonderful days as Erin found her unique path on the road. I remember the right passenger mirror of the Ford Escort meeting our neighbor’s mailbox and merges onto I-25 that left me with that queasy, first-time-you’ve-ever-looked-over-the-edge-of-the-Grand-Canyon feeling.

Then came her first car. I surprised her with a Honda Accord that was older than she was. And she loved it.

However, the most memorable car story with Erin came when she was 8 years old. My father had given me his 1980 Diesel VW Rabbit. This car sounded like a tank, rattled like one of his old tractors, and when it got below freezing the glow plugs wouldn’t fire. In cold snaps it sat for days. The fuel tank also shrunk and the gauge didn’t work so you never knew when you were running out of fuel.

I sold the Rabbit to a friend who had a paper route, Scott Borg. (Later, his customers would complain about the noise so much that he had to sell it.) I signed the title and waved as he chugged away. When I turned I noticed Erin’s puckered chin. She was crying as she watched the Rabbit leave.

“What’s wrong? What happened?” I thought she had fallen. Perhaps she left a doll in the backseat.

No. She was upset the Rabbit was gone. With further probing I realized this was not just a car to her. We drove to the library and ran errands in the Rabbit. This was the car she looked for as I returned from work, that woke her up when I pulled up at night. To her, this car was part of the family.

I took her inside and tried to explain. Another car would feel less like I was driving a jackhammer. Another car with fewer miles and a bigger gas tank will be a wonderful addition to our family. It’s not that we don’t like the Rabbit, it’s just that we need something else. It was time for the Rabbit to park in another driveway.

I tried to convince her, but she couldn’t stop the tears. There was a loss in her life, a hole only an old diesel Rabbit could fill. And once that thing has wedged itself into your heart, it is always there.
The truth is, she wedged herself into my heart. And now, after what seems like about a day, it’s time for a new journey. I will walk arm in arm with her and give her to someone who will love and protect and provide. I’m not scared of the walk. I am a dad.