Wednesday, January 26, 2011

they'll know we are Christians by our love

This week I’ve been nannying for twin 6-month-olds. On my route, I pass a junk yard with a big yellow and red sign that says,


Do people in junk yards have some correspondence with God that we folk living on the other side of the rusty fence don’t?

Scene: Junk yard.
Man in overalls sits on a chipped blue pickup, eating Vienna sausages.
Voice of God: "Bert, I'm coming on June 3rd. No one else knows. Send a vague message about it to the world. Use red and yellow paint, if possible."

Little known fact: When Jesus came the first time, the angels appeared to the shepherds with signs that said,


(used with object)

give notice, advice, or intimation to (a person, group, etc.) of danger, impending evil, possible harm, or anything else unfavorable

Ah ha, precisely the method I'd use to describe this man's coming who died for us his first time around because he loved us so much. And this collaborates well with the billboard on I-65 that says,


So we know it’s a fact. And that's a comforting thought.

Let's just skim over all the 365 times in the Bible that God tells us not to fear.

Because the parking is limited on the street where I work, I’ve had to park in the closest parking I could find: A Presbyterian church’s parking lot. I’m thankful for church’s generosity and charity and general open-arm-ed-ness. I’ve never felt unwelcome at a church I’ve visited.

Except for today. I found this on my windshield:

#1, there were 2 inches of snow on the ground and ZERO cars in the parking lot. ZERO.
#2, it wasn’t a Sunday, or a Wednesday night, and did I mention there were ZERO cars in the parking lot?
#3, orange is such an abrasive color, as if I could hear them shouting at me and being angry.

Scene: Church secretary’s office.
Enter: Pastor in tweed suit with leather elbow patches, feeling bored and territorial.
“Hey Barb.”
Secretary with horn-rimmed glasses looks up from her typewriter and snorts.
“Have you seen that car that parks itself out in our parking lot?”
“You mean the only one out there, where otherwise there would be absolutely no vehicles except for that one?”
“Yes. Put a note under the windshield wiper that this lot is for church parking only.”
The secretary’s acrylic nails start typing.
“Oh and Barb?”
“Make it orange.”

So far this week, the Christians I've come in contact with from afar have made me feel a.) very afraid of Jesus, and b.) very afraid of churches. Little known fact: After Jesus told His disciples to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, He actually ended by saying, "And if at all possible, make them never, ever want to have anything to do with Me."


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