What the heck is "ministry" anyway?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I drove a different route to a different church this morning. It was the usual city thoroughfare: Starbucks collections, gas stations, restaurants and bead shops in strip malls. As I was speeding to keep up with my buddy's green Honda in front of me ;p , I caught a slow, bold, blur.

A man was pacing in the parking lot of a shop with a "We Buy Gold" sign. His car was the only one in the lot. He wore a white hoodie and paced around his car with a desperate determination--as if eager for the shopkeeper to arrive. I wondered if his kids would be waiting for bowed bicycles on Christmas morning. I wondered what gold he'd be offering for cash. I wondered if he was hungry. I wondered how my life would be different in his shoes. I wondered how many life twists it would take for me to be the one in the white hoodie, pacing desperately outside the Gold Exchange, waiting for a miracle.

Then, church. We sang the Hallelujah Chorus and talked about how Jesus was rejected by his homefolks. We passed the plate, signed the attendance sheet, hugged some necks, and went to lunch. A lovely lady in our small group paid for lunch and I put a $10 on the table as a tip. I was thinking about my homey in white, and wondering how the server was getting by. I'm not rolling in cash, but I had it to give-- and I wanted the server to have it. Another at the table picked up the cash, proffered it like dirt, and said, "What is t h i s?" as if there had been some serious blunder that should be corrected immediately.

Excuse me? Excuse me? I believe in the body of believers. I support the church. I also believe that CHURCH is PEOPLE, in action, showing a supernatural love for others. If I had thrown that bill in the special offering for the building fund, would you have scoffed then? Need we don our "I heart steeples" matching t-shirts and fuel up our church buses to call our contributions to the world worthy? Must our love come through the vehicle of a non-profit-org's planning to be effective?? No. Should I have to explain to you what my motivations were for spending that money? Heck No. Someday, when I meet the Lord, his name will be Jehovah, not *your name*.

Sometimes, I really don't like church people.


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