"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peace (written after church this morning)

"Don't pray!" they told us. "We're praying!"

"Don't sing!" they told us. "You're not worthy of worshiping God!"

"Don't speak! We will tell people not to listen!"

"Don't write! We will tell people lies about you

that will taint what you post."

"We think you'd be happier at another church,"

they told us firmly (two elders, standing before us)--

and to make their meaning clear,

they stripped away our 36+ year membership,

stripped us naked

in front of everybody.

Part of the diaspora,

we followed nearly 200 other dazed people

and limped elsewhere.

Our new pastor opened his arms to embrace us.

He told his congregation,

"We are expanding our worship center,

with seating for an additional 175."

Through him

the Lord whispered,

I love to hear you pray!

I love to hear you sing!

When you speak of Me,

I am exalted!

When you write of Me,

your words delight My heart!

You  will  be  happier  here!


Another Sunday morning. Again I wake up tense, disturbed.

I sit on the edge of the bed, tears welling up.

"This is not that church," I say to Jerry. "Remind me the church we are now attending is not like that." I am breathing hard. "Not all church leaders are like that. These men will not treat us like that. They will not publicly denounce us. They will not humiliate us. They will not lie about us and turn our friends against us. Not all men are like that."

Jerry puts his arms around me. "No," he says gently. "He is not Lou."