Her name was Mrs. Lucy.
She was my nursery attendant at Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville. I remember. I sat on her lap and played with clay.
She was the church for me. She cared.
There was Gelorne Myers, my 8th grade Sunday School teacher at First Christian Church in Corbin. We met in a room about the size of a closet and there were only maybe six of us. I remember. She was a great teacher and woman of faith.
There was Steve Miller, a weekend student minister from Lexington Seminary. He let us hang out at his apartment on Saturday nights He taught me a Christian could be real and as radical as Jesus. When I missed a youth retreat, the next Saturday he woke me up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to bring me back into the fold.
When mom died, I arrived and my dad’s minister was waiting there with him.
When Chad was born with a heart problem and we had no money, the church raised $10,000 and told us to spend it however we needed to spend it. When he had surgery 10 hours away, three church members drove there to be with us.
When Chad was of age, the church asked him to be a deacon.
When I had surgery, over two hundred cards, phone calls and emails came from the church in loving support.
I met my best friends through the church.
I married my wife in the church.
I sit in the church when I say goodbye to those I love.
Some of the finest people I know, I have met at church.
I have witnessed the church pour maybe a million dollars into the local community and beyond, just to make life better for others.
I have learned racial justice and to love peace through the teaching and preaching of the church.
I have seen the most extraordinary acts of compassion, sometimes extended to people who did not “deserve” the generous, response of the people of God.
I have witnessed a church adopt a man on death row, visit him, advocate for him and love him.
Do not ever, ever, ever, tell me there is a more extraordinary community than the one which gathers in the name of Jesus our Lord each week to worship him and work for him.
Have a blessed Pentecost Sunday.
Moving to the deeper places,