[Edited on 11/22/08 @2:26am – The preface for this post is that things were not what they seemed! Please read the comments for the whole story!]
So as you can see by my last post, the Operations Christmas Child shoebox collection at my church went well. Last night we transported all the boxes to a collection site in the area. It was at a pretty large Baptist church in the area that shall remain nameless. We arrived with three vehicles and a few women from the church came out to meet us. They asked us about how many boxes and then one lady asked, “What church are you from?” I responded and she said – no joke – “Oh! I came and spoke there last year! And I didn’t even die!” My internal dialog went something like, “Did she really just say that? She couldn’t have said that. She really did just say that.” Thankfully I was walking away from her already when she said it so I got to keep walking and didn’t really have to say anything in response but I did make an awkward laugh as I was trying to process what she had just said. Apparently she thought God was going to strike her dead for speaking in church. I wonder how she would have felt if she realized I was answering a call to ministry.
And so I am left baffled and yet understand completely the rhetoric that this woman ascribes to. I am discouraged and yet encouraged at the same time. Overall it really saddens me though. It saddens me that there are so many folks who cram Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit in boxes they don’t belong in. It saddens me that they cannot share communion with their fellow brothers and sisters. And I don’t just mean bread an wine…I mean communion in it’s fullest sense of coming together as the body of Christ. There are so many walls built up around fundamentalists. *sigh*
Lord, hear my prayer.