"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Closing the Church Doors


The above is from my church’s website.  I designed the website, and I worked hard on the slogan and pictures, wanting to create a sense of welcome for all those that stopped by.

But, I am the only staff member at our church...and I am a female.  I’m often alone in the church, which might not be so bad if we weren’t so far out in the country.  Yesterday when I was there alone, a man knocked on the door looking for help (which is not that unusual in our area).  I don’t let people I don’t know in the church, and all the doors are kept locked.  I opened the door a little bit to talk to him, but he kept trying to get in the church.  He kept looking past me, and three different times he gave me reasons why he needed to come in (restroom, phone, etc.) He wouldn’t look me in the eye the whole time he was telling me his story, and I just got an awful vibe from him.

I packed up my things and left, not wanting to give him an opportunity to come in again, and left, on the whole, feeling rather unsafe to be in my office.  But I’m also feeling like a pretty shabby representative of God.  It was cold outside, and I wouldn’t even let him in.  He needed help, and I hesitated...even to let him use the phone.   My behavior went against what I’ve read in the scriptures, but how do you live the gospel while keeping yourself safe in this world?

What say you?

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