Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What Does Church Look Like?

Yesterday two church members stopped by to talk with me in my study. "We have a question for you," one said. "My son knows a man at work who is really having a rough time. Trying to raise kids by himself, unable to work right now because of an injury, and basically at the end of his rope. Is there anything we can do for him?"
I asked, "What does he need?"
"Food," was her blunt reply.

Blessed are the hungry, for they shall be satisfied.
- But it is actually a spiritual hunger, and Jesus meant that if you yearn for a relationship with God, you will find it.
Ask, and it will be given to you.
- Well, God does answer prayer, but sometimes the answer is "No."
Whenever you saw someone who was hungry and fed them ... you did it to me.
- You know, so many people are just scamming the system, we can't just give food to anyone who comes by.

All of these things flashed through my mind in three seconds, which allowed the second church member to enter the conversation. She said, "You know, we have a whole bin full of food people have given for the Food Pantry out there in the lobby, and a lot of stuff down in the freezer. All of that food is going over to the Pantry eventually, anyway, and I thought we just might as well..." As she left the thought dangling in the air, I realized what I was seeing.
These two women were being the Church.

Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there also.

And I realized that I really don't believe any of those rationalizations that flashed in my mind, the one about spiritual hunger and God answering No to our prayers and being extra careful about who gets food because so many people scam the system. I just don't believe them.
So we got the guy some food, and the church lives on.

Grace and Peace,
Andy B.


iamnettie said...

What a great story. Thanks :)

dabeckztr said...

you never cease to amaze me! what a great experience! I can only hope that in my future profession that I can have as much dedication, and desire for the church as you show. I guess that when you see a church "loving their neighbors as themselves" really happening then you know that the church is still alive. have a good one!

Anonymous said...

I still don't know exactly what "the Church" is, but I love it when I can see Jesus right there in front of me, in action. I'd say, "Bless those ladies," but I can already tell they are. I think they deserve some chocolate chip cookies.

Shelly :)!

Anonymous said...

I'm a bottom line kind of guy and I'm glad to see that you are to. Most of the time, the best thing to do is take the simplest, straightest approach.
Dave Wood

Eggggs said...

Great stories & thoughts...we'll enjoy "entering the rainbow" with you often! Thanks for sharing, AB!