Monday, February 15, 2010

I Don't Understand Church Folks. At All. sweetheart and I went to church yesterday, which is normal.  The sermon was about "bringing people to Jesus", which is also normal.  He challenged the congregation to be sensitive to folks in their everyday traffic patterns who need the Lord, which should be normal but usually isn't.

Church folks as a general rule are a clannish lot.  They like to be around others who look like them, talk like them, act like them.  This, too, is normal, and wrong with a capital R.

Since it was Valentine's Day, and I'm crazy in love with my wife, I took her to lunch at a/an Hibachi restaurant in Dawsonville.  I never thought I'd say (or read) those words.  Years ago, a Japanese restaurant in Dawsonville would be like putting perfume on a hog.  The two just didn't go together.

But I digress.

At these restaurants, you sit around the grill with people you don't know unless you brought ten people with you.  That was not the case yesterday.

We walked in and gave the hostess our name, and noticed six other folks from church.  One was the worship leader, one was the CEO, and their wives, and two children.  I spoke to the worship leader when I came in, assuming he would remember me since we had met several times previously.  He didn't.  That was okay.

When we sat down my wife and I were placed on the corner as the other church folks filled up six seats adjacent to us.  To my wife's left was a young couple, obviously out for Valentine's Day.  We struck up a conversation with them as the church folks talked amongst themselves.

They never noticed the young couple, and I wondered to myself what would have happened had we not been there.  And if the church folks had even heard the sermon.

The young man was a supervisor at a construction supply house, and his wife (they got married last October) was a legal secretary, but they wanted to open a daycare in the future.  All this information they shared because we spoke first.

My wife told them we'd like to pray before we ate and asked if they'd mind.  They didn't, so we did.  The CEO said he really liked that prayer.  That was the extent of our conversation, which was really just his observation.

We invited the young couple to church, found out where they lived, told them we'd pray for their future business, and when we finished lunch, left.  Just before we ended our meal, the worship leader and the CEO had to leave for a church meeting.  I knew this because the CEO's wife made sure everyone at the table heard her tell the chef, who just smiled.  I wondered how many church folks he served, and how much they tipped. My experience told me "not much".

You may say I have a critical spirit.  I say I've been on both sides of church folks' beating stick, and, to quote that great theologian Billy Joel, I'd "rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints".  So that's what my sweetheart and I did. 

While the church folks had their church folks conversation.  And ignored a young couple who needed to see Jesus in somebody.  I pray they saw Him in us.


Michael Ruffin said...

I pray so too. They did, I suspect.

bella said...

You're meant to be in ministry. I love your heart, Dad... and you're writing :)