This morning in church, I introduce myself to the family in front of me. The wife uses crutches from an injury.
"What neighborhood do you live in?" I ask. Most folks who go to this church live in nearby neighborhoods. It's a satellite church from our main church building. We meet in an elementary school, and now we've grown so big we need two morning services.
"We live almost an hour away," she says.
"An hour away? You drive that long to come to this church?"
"We do. We come to this church because we were so tired of being judged other places because of our clothes or our issues. We wanted to learn about God without feeling judged the minute we walked through the doors." She pinches her thumb and forefinger together and says, "Those churches make you feel this small."
I'm nodding my head and looking around. I wonder why the recovering addicts, the newly divorced, the abused and the depressed find such a home here. I suppose it's because we have one thing in common: we are all desperate for God.
The pastor mentions the wife with the crutches and how she must hobble to get to the communion table. He says that's the picture of us all--hobbling--in desperate need of God.
To hobble means "to walk in an awkward way." We're terribly and beautifully awkward here in church this morning.
Maybe that's why we've grown so much as a community.
You're welcome here. We're all just hobbling along here, desperate.
Don't you wish every church made folks feel welcome?