What should our immediate answer be to the question, “What does your church do?”*
My church invites me to wonder. It calls me to wonder about God.
When my daughter lands her first grown-up job or my mother falls and breaks her hip,
when a sunset takes my breath away or a tornado warning sends me scurrying for the basement,
when a new vaccine is discovered or an outbreak of disease creates havoc and heartbreak,
my church holds out its arms for the prayers that erupt from my lips in joy or helplessness. And it carries the prayers I cannot utter when God seems distant and uninterested. It challenges me to find the helpers in the midst of tragedy, as the beloved Mr. Rogers advised, and to see beauty in unlikely places.
My church invites me to wonder about God’s people.
What backstory lurks behind that usher’s warm smile and firm handshake?
Where does the choir director who brings out the best from a motley group of singers find her energy?
What is going on behind the stern expression of the person across the aisle?
Who lives in the apartments across the street?
How do I love someone whose vote cancels out mine or who stands on the opposite side of the protest?
What gift does each person bring to the world? How do we discover the strengths of one another?
My church draws out questions with tenderness and hope. It surrounds me with the wide-eyed wonder of a curious child discovering God for the first time and the patient accompaniment of a wise grandparent who has trusted God for a lifetime.
*What does your church do? This question, and many more, come from a deck of See All the People conversation cards designed to engage people in talking about discipleship and explore what it means to follow Jesus and be a difference-maker in the world.