Imagine this inviting scenario:
Bring what you are, with what you have; there are no expectations of you, of works while you are here; just whatever you can or want to contribute. You can neither contribute too much nor too little. There are no comparisons here; no judgments, either. Please, relax.
Just come, and stay as long as you want, just exactly as you are, perfectly imperfect like the rest of us, and still you will be ever welcome.
Paradoxically, even though there’s no invitation or challenge to growth or learning, people find such an environment—where consummate freedom reigns—encourages them never more implicitly. Most want to actualise themselves.
There is a concept found in this sort of place; one word: grace. It’s what a lot of churches have hit on (though many, also, haven’t)—the golden elixir of Christ’s Spirit pervading every corner, every conversation, every interaction; it’s the philosophy of connection.
The Love In Grace Never Fails
Consistent with the teaching of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:8 (“Love never fails”), situations in life that capture the foreboding and unreserved sense of forgiveness, come what may, are just exactly what the hurt and hungry and lonely and tired pilgrims—all of us!—need.
Those people that the church really reaches out to, and everybody else, can connect only where there is no inflection for judgment, criticism, or intolerance.
But this is a message beyond church. It’s a message that needs to be heard, and no less felt, in every home, in every workplace, on every street corner, within every business, in shopping malls, and inside great big sporting stadiums, also.
There is plenty of room for everybody. There is plenty of opportunity to go around. There is abundance enough for all people to feel fulfilled.
Sowing Unity In The World
Who is it that creates the above sense of tolerant diversity and connection?
Who else but you and I? Who else can make a difference? We can no more orchestrate the changing of a gentle breeze a tenth of a degree than we can change the mind of one other person. Yet, we persist in trying, maddening as that agenda is.
When we convey that there is plenty of room to be shared and opportunity for everyone, we abide by the truth and God blesses that every time.
In no better way do we glorify God than in welcoming people to: share in opportunities; to take up some of our space; relate with us in harmony; reciprocate our heartfelt smiles.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.