I started a blog about 7 years ago. It seemed like the thing to do, but it ended up being a mish mosh of thoughts and ideas. Some of it was meaningful- I posted the eulogy I offered at my mother in-law’s funeral. Some of it was not- What song would you like playing when you came up to bat at a minor league baseball game?
At any rate, something happened here in Atlanta earlier this year that has still been on my mind and prodded me to add my voice to an already noisy internet.
It snowed. It snowed a lot. Okay, a little. But, it froze. You may have heard about it. Make fun all you want, but the city was shut down. People were stranded. People were cold. Our church stayed open and provided coffee, food, showers, and shelter to about 70 people over the course of the night. Neighbors from across the street brought food and blankets.
We had a huge variety of people stay with us. A business woman from Ohio trying to get back to her hotel; a family who lived about a mile away, but had already been in the car 12 hours; a grandmother with her 4 year-old granddaughter who had soiled herself after eight hours in the car. Young, old, rich, poor, black, white, non-English speaking, suits, jeans, variety.
Then, a group of young people in their 20’s stayed with us for a little while, and one of them said something that I have not been able to get out of my head. “Wow. This is cool. I never thought a church would do anything like this.”
Seriously? That’s how far we’ve fallen. “I never thought a church would do anything like this.” We in the church have bickered ourselves into irrelevance, so far in fact, that people have higher expectations of the guy at Jiffy Lube than they do of us.
Here’s the thing. I don’t know anyone who has picketed the funeral of a soldier. I make a good living, but I don’t have a driver, nor do I know anyone who does. I know a lot of people in the larger church world I disagree with, but I know few personally who are on a mission to keep “other” people out of the church.
So I thought I would come back and maybe shed some light on a side of the church world that some readers may not be aware of.
My goal? Simple. That people might not think we who are part of a church are such bad people. It may not sound that ambitious, but considering the reputation the Christian church in this country has acquired, it seems like a lofty goal to me.
I invite you to read, to comment, to be respectful, as I will do my best to be.