Monthly Archives: November 2014
We have all heard the horror stories about mean people who make churches mean. Sometimes a few people make a lot of people look like mean hypocrites. Sometimes a visitor has a bad experience because of a singular person. Perhaps some of us have been the cause of the horror. Thank God for His sufficient grace!
I suspect that if we were able to track down every person who has gathered with our church over the years, we would find that some, and maybe quite a few, would have something bad to say about an Eagle Heights experience. I don’t like it, but how could I deny it?
Having made the effort to be honest and balanced, I want to now be unashamedly encouraging and grateful for the sake of the people who are a part of my local faith family.
This last Sunday I met a young lady who is going through a very difficult season of life. She came to our church intending to meet a particular person who might help her with some monetary needs. A few of us visited with her after the second worship gathering and we invited her to come back later that night to our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.
Later that evening she joined us for dinner, along with her two daughters (2 and 3 yrs. old with another on the way). Several of our members (Denise Talley, Dawn Schrock and Kim and Toby Angell) went out of their way to talk and listen to her, as well as corral, feed and care for her precious little girls who were quite literally, all over the place. (I apologize if I failed to identify others who loved on this woman and her children – God knows and that’s really all that should matter.)
The following morning I was able to visit with her again and listen to her tell the story of her difficult life and present challenges. I shared with her the gospel of Jesus Christ, asked her if she knew who Jesus was and is, and asked if she had ever been a part of a church. She said she knew of Jesus and had gathered with some churches, but had mostly bad experiences in which people were unfriendly to those who did not look and act a certain way – people like her. It was hard to hear.
Despite some bad experiences, she wanted me to know how overwhelmed she was by the kindness of those she had met in our faith family. She enjoyed the multi-generational demographic of our church and the kindness she was shown by every person she encountered. She was especially complementary of the kindness that was shown her daughters; the way people watched her little girls, fed them and held them. She said she wished there was an Eagle Heights where she was from so she could be a part of it. There may be and I hope she finds a gathering of people who love Christ and others. Pray for her. God knows who she is and what she needs.
I am glad and grateful to be a part of Eagle Heights. In Christ, I am proud of our church. I am thankful for a faith family that is welcoming, caring and loving toward those they know and those they don’t. I am glad we have people who love others where they are, not where they would want them to be. I hope we continue to grow in our love for others and pray that God will continue to bless us so that we can be a blessing to others (Ps. 67).