Something crazy happened after I got married. I got hit by a hurricane of change. In twelve months
- had a baby,
- moved from Texas to Vancouver B.C.
- left my fundamentalist Baptist community and joined a Charismatic church.
Perhaps, I was not as tough as a young mom should be.
- At 28 I had no idea what to do with a screaming little pooping machine.
- My hairspray- heavy, Midwest Wal-Mart heritage was no help in adjusting to a sophisticated, west coast world.
The breaking point?
When I emerged from the cloistered confines
- of the fundamentalist Baptist community
- and found myself in a Charismatic church.
The lingo “of the spirit” confused me. Some of the unique expressions of worship just plain scared me. Suddenly, I felt like a stranger at church – the only community I had ever known. My extended family lived too far away to ease my loneliness. My own husband was so busy working with a struggling Bible college and serving on pastoral staff, I sat through services alone.
How did I survive?
- supper duper Sunday greeters,
- profound intervention from dynamic leadership,
- or special programs designed to scoop up fringe folks like me and toss them into the hustle and bustle of church life.
Not a chance.
Instead, I found hugs, encouragement and a sense of connection in unexpected places.
- Single moms, struggling to make ends meet, invited me for coffee.
- Young adults shared their favorite books and fashion advice.
- Older, wiser women held the baby and included me in their extended family life.
They were the hands, the heart, the very face of Jesus to me.
What else can I say?
This September, WATCH OUT FOR NEWBIES.
At school. On the job. In church. Look out for the confused, the socially awkward, the ones hanging back, the ones sitting alone.
I’m not talking about some quick I-really-don’t-care-I’m-just-being-nice hello. I’m talking about expanding the borders of your compassion to include people who don’t quite fit in.
Act like a Christian and change the world.
One lonely person at a time .