Sunday, February 3, 2008

Imperfections

One of the young boys in my Sunday school class shared with me that he might be changing churches. His lip quivered as he related this. Caught unawares, I tried to say the right thing and the Godly thing. "Jerod," I said, "people need to be where they can grow. If your parents are meant to be at another church, the thing that I can say for sure is that God would not be moving them into a church where you're going to be miserable. I can tell you for sure that whatever Sunday school class you wind up in, you'll be a blessing to them, just like you are to us." And I was proud to see that the rest of the kids were quick to reassure him.
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When his parents came to pick him up, Jerod defiantly told them he was not going to change churches. I spoke with his parents for a few minutes. I've changed churches before. I used to be Episcopalian. It stopped being such a good fit for me. I assured them that I understood sometimes moving on was the right thing to do.
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What surprised me was their anger. They are pretty fed up with some people in our church. Of all things, I never expected this to be the reason they were moving on.
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Jerod ran away and hid in the church. His parents had planned to go to the new church after Sunday school, but they could not find their son. After the service began, Jerod calmly walked out and seated himself with his very unhappy parents.
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I look around, and I see flawed people filling our pews. I have a pretty lengthy list of flaws myself. My husband is not perfect, my kids are not perfect. My friends are not perfect. I love them anyway. The service continues. Imperfect people sing hymns that fill our 150 year old church. And quietly, God works.

3 comments:

Mike said...

Thanks for your very kind encouragement over at my blog. I returned here to see if you had posted anything today- It's a good one.

You're bookmarked.

As an overly experienced church-goer, one observation I can make without fear of being unfair is that churches often feel like anger factories.

I say that with regret and genuine sadness.

Much luck with your blog, you're off to a great start!

PaintedPromise said...

Well said Debby AND Mike! i've been hurt by church people so many times i no longer attend. but we found a GREAT midweek fellowship group, we are so thrilled, it's awesome! Debby you amaze me, i could never come up with something so perfect to say to Jerod until probably an hour later, when it was way over and done with... you did a GREAT job!!!

debby said...

Oh, I am so sorry for both of you. I have been involved with angry churches before. Ew. Ick. I'm active in my own church now, but one thing that I will never again be involved with is church politics. I find that you're going to run into your angriest, most 'type A' people. Not to say that they are ALL type A personalities of course, but if you DO have angry people, they will be trying to run the show.