Of recent, the challenge to take the everyday situation and view it as re-purposed for God’s redemptive plans has been something that as a staff we’ve been promoting. Like all good promoter, it’s not near enough to promote without action yourself. No, the best sort of promoters are the ones on the street there with you. So the other day, I walked out my back door with this set of eyes on…
I found myself in the yard of my neighbor watching our girls play together in the pool. As we sat there dodging drops of pool water, we talked. It was the sort of talk neighbors normally have; all until a simple question shifted the conversation from the everyday, toward the redeemed.
“What time does you church meet?”
That was the question that redirected the entire course of the next couple of hours. From that one question came conversation about trying to connect with Jesus but feeling judged by the very sort of people who should be helping you connect with Him. We talked about being accepted, and about how Jesus gets that right, even though His children sometimes do not. We talked about the necessity of family in church; about the need for honest community. We talked about blue jeans verses ties and if Jesus really even cares. We talked about life and how God desires so strongly to redeem that which is broken.
The conversation was as alive and joyous and the laughter coming from the pool. The irony in all of this however, is that in the midst of the conversation; at the point when it was really rolling along well, I had to break the flow. The time had come for me to go back inside, grab a quick bit and scamper off to church. After all I had a parents meeting to get to and youth group as well. I couldn’t shake from my mind that there in the back yard, I was being the Church, but unfortunately I had to stop, so that I could go and do church.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that parent meetings and youth group are bad. I’m simply wrapping my mind around the fact that sometimes we get caught up in doing church at the expense of forgetting that we’re really called to be the Church. I know future backyard conversations will ensure. So I’m not worried about having to cut things short. I know God’s not done redeeming this situation. I know that it’s not one or the other; when it comes to church, but that it’s both. It’s about being the Church as we do the work of the Church.
I’m just thankful that God hears a simple prayer, such as give me your eyes Lord, and turns it into a great adventure between two neighbors.