On Saturday morning I notice that the Goldfinch is changing his winter greens back to gold and I go to church for a Presbytery meeting.
There’s a lot of business but first there is worship and then we listen to a preacher I’ve never met give the message.
It’s the words that make him look so tall behind that podium—a stepstool made of consonants and vowels and truth. He is a campus minister and he is used to telling it like it is. Kids have extra eyes for the phony. And those fresh faces that peer out from behind him tell me he’s no phony…tell me how loved he is—how he has given food to the hungry.
He tells how campus ministry has changed since he was in school; how college has changed. How, because of special programs, more kids have more chances now. And some of these kids are the ones who have struggled their whole life—struggled to learn or fit in or understand real love. He tells how some of these kids step in his chapel looking for the first home they’ve ever had. And he says that, if the church wants these young faces to fill up their pews, then maybe it needs to become a place that embraces the homeless…maybe it needs to be that kind of place that can handle the chaos of the misfits.
And I sit in the pew and think about the homes I’ve known…how some fit better than others and how some did more harm than good. And I think that God should make a nice home. For anyone. For everyone.
And I wonder how we have strayed so far away from home.
And I feel this war waging inside of me. The one between these two ways I serve: with my words and with my hands. And God doesn’t want me to wait until I have it all together to feed the poor, to open my arms to hungry hearts.
So this morning I get back to the book of James and there are these words: Do what it says.
I’ve always thought I do. But this morning my heart aches for more and I’m asking God how.
How do I do what it says?
This pastor standing tall, he doesn’t have the answers, just this…just this:
We want to be a Christmas church instead of a Good Friday church. But there is no way to Easter save through Good Friday…
And his words pass over me like so much rushing wind and I hide the Word in my heart, wear it on my hands…
I’m a morning person and happiest in a place with no walls. Give me a bed of grass and a blanket-sky and I will dream deep in wonder. But a good story takes me to this place too. And a poem? Even better. You can always find me here. Or connect with me on on facebook, twitter, or pinterest.