Monday, July 16, 2012
My babies--Baby Daughter and her Sailor-Man (a.k.a. "Popeye")--are now in their new home in Colorado and finally ready to look for a church home. Truth be told, Baby Daughter is pretty desperate to find one. She's miserably lonely, tired from juggling physical therapy for chronic back problems and working two jobs, fussing too much with Popeye because they're both stressed over jobs and future plans and all that stuff that newly-weds still in the adjustment period sometimes stress over, and she flat-out said this morning, "Mama, I am needin' me some Jesus people!"
After weeks of working Sundays, she finally has the weekend off, and she's ready to be in church somewhere this Sunday, even if it means venturing out on her own because now Popeye has to work on Sunday. (Proof of her desperation 'cause this is a child who, as far as I know, has never gone to church by herself a day in her life! Truly, Papa-God IS "doing a new thing" here!)
Being the full-service mom that I am (okay, I do some things right), I researched some churches in her area and narrowed the choices down to three fellowships that seemed pretty solid theologically, offered small-group Bible study, and celebrated with the kind of contemporary worship music I know Baby Daughter and Popeye like. Then. I. Sent. Each. Church. A. Letter. Of. Interest.
Yup. I did.
Told 'em all about Baby Daughter and Popeye and their needs (other young-married twenty- and thirty-somethings to fellowship with), and then kind of asked them if they thought they thought they'd be a good fit for my little couple.
Now I know that Mondays are usually days off for the pastoral staff of most churches, so I wasn't real sure when I'd hear anything. But lo' and behold, within an hour of hitting the send button, I got an E-mail from an elder in one of the churches. A very sweet E-mail telling me a little more about the folks themselves at the church, and assuring me that this brother would be on the lookout for my babies should they decide to visit.
I was impressed.
And then, this evening, I got a second E-mail--an E-mail from another member of that same church.
This time I was literally moved to tears by the genuine interest she showed in my children--interest and concern and an eagerness to be of any help she could in making their adjustment to a new area easier. All of this after sharing with me her love for her church. (I couldn't help but grin when, while listing its other attributes, she wrote, "The people in this church actually like each other!")
It didn't matter anymore what I might have let slide right off my to-do list earlier in the day--I had done one really, really important thing: I had reached out to the body of Christ--nameless-, faceless-at-the-time brothers and sisters, and they had reached back.
Trust me, I, as quickly as anyone else, could make you a list of things I think the American church does wrong on any given day--areas where we fail, things we focus on but shouldn't and things we should focus on but don't. But on this day, at that moment, all I could think of was that one precious body of believers who got it right.
A pastor who read my words and then shared my concerns with just the right brother and sister whom he obviously knew would also see through my words right into my heart and then take the time to let me know that, should they walk through the doors of their church, my children would be their children.
Thank you, Church.
Grins and blessings,