August 6, 2010: What I am Reading This Week
I was at a party, holding my plastic cup of beer and talking to a stranger in a crowded house. She was in thirties, like I was. “So, what do you do?” she asked. “Where to do you work?”
I smiled because this part of the conversation can become really interesting. I’m a five-foot tall woman, who’s part of a generation that considers itself “spiritual but not religious,” so people don’t usually expect my answer: “I’m a pastor.”
“Oh my God,” she responded. “I never knew why anyone would go to church. But last year, my mom got sick. She’s divorced, and I’m living hundreds of miles away from her, so I didn’t know what we were going to do. And her church totally took care of her. They brought her meals. They drove her to the doctor. They called me when anything out of the ordinary happened.”
“Yeah. That’s what the good churches do.”
“Really?” She looked completely confused as she continued, “I had no idea. You should really advertise that.” I laughed, and we talked for a bit more about her career. But, her initial comments stuck with me as I snagged a rare empty space on the couch. I looked at the crowd of mingling people, and the loud music triggered my thoughts. It never occurred to me that people would not know that churches care for the sick. What had church become in the minds of most people?
(August 7, 2010 update: My apologize for not including my source yesterday. This is from the pen of Carol Howard Merritt and can be found here http://tribalchurch.org/?p=1713)