Monday, March 07, 2005

The Wanderer for Wonderwhat (2)

(Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)

What else is out there?
In a much bigger, paved parking lot, the Wanderer and his family sat in their old blue station wagon and screwed up their courage to “try” yet another church. The Wanderer surveyed the building they were preparing to enter, while his wife worked furiously to keep a cowlick from standing at attention on her son’s scalp.
The building was large, with a great wall of glass windows that faced the parking lot. Two rows of flags from around the world lined the walkway toward the entrance where well-dressed families were already entering in. It occurred to the Wanderer that this place reminded him of the U.N. building.
They unloaded from their wagon, and the children marched in a line between the two parents, as they stepped into the human stream that led into the interior of this latest attempt to find their place in the church.

Just inside the door, the customary greeters stood on either side of the four sets of double doors. Each entering person was greeted with a smile, and a bulletin was pressed into his or her hands. The smell of church wafted up to greet the Wanderer’s nostrils. He wondered about that, why every church had the same smell. Did it come in a can? Odor de’ church?

“Good to see you again” said the smiling greeter. She was a middle-aged woman who clearly had no intention of admitting so. Her hair was big, according to the style of the day, her make-up excessive, and her dark pants suit fit snugly on her well kempt physique. She wore a plastic nametag that had the church’s logo on it, and the name “Jessie” underneath. She extended a bulletin toward the Wanderer with a thin hand, criss-crossed with veins and bracelets and rings.

“This is our first time here.” Said the Wanderer.

“Oh!” exclaimed the woman, “Well, welcome to our church!” She reached behind her to a stack of burgundy folders that sat on a small table. On the cover, in gold letters, was the word “welcome”, and underneath the name of the church and the logo.
“You’ll find out all you need to know in our visitor’s packet. God bless you!” she said, and turned to the next entering person with bulletin in hand.

As the Wanderer’s wife shuffled their children through the maze of hallways that honeycombed the children’s wing, he sat down on a pew with the visitor’s packet. He felt the familiar weight pressing against his inner frame again. He opened the folder like a man about to read his sentencing in court.

Each pocket of the folder brimmed with forms, tri-fold brochures and gifts. A pen with the church’s logo on it. A cassette tape labeled “A special word for you, from Pastor A______.” Forms to fill out for contact information. Envelopes to place an offering in, and a separate one for an ongoing pledge. The amount of effort and money that had gone into the packet was impressive, yet intimidating. He felt as though he were being pressured to buy something, as though this were all part of a carefully crafted sales pitch. His stomach began to twist.
The Wanderer studied all the contents carefully, even after he had assessed it all sufficiently. The visitor’s packet provided sanctuary for him, in this foreign place. He could keep his head bowed, intently absorbing the information from the packet, and not have to look up and make eye contact with someone who would see that he was all alone.

“God is present with His church.” The Wanderer thought. “The Body of Christ has many and varied expressions.” He had begun his rote explanation to himself as to why he was here. “Somehow, God moves here, speaks here, reveals Himself here, and I am here to find Him.”

The lights went dim in the auditorium, and the Wanderer’s wife just made it to their pew as the first rhythmic blasts from the trumpet section started. From down the three main aisles that led toward the elevated platform at the front of the sanctuary, a parade of women walked with banners that declared, among other things, that Jesus was Lord.
A large man with long, curly and heavily gelled hair stepped out to the front of the stage with a wireless microphone and shouted, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” at which time the large gathering of people became a cacophony of shouts and clapping.

“You are real, I do believe that.” The Wanderer prayed, silently. “I know you had something in mind when you instituted the church. There has to be a reason for it. You said you would be with us…” the Wanderer looked around at his present surroundings, “but where are you here? I can’t feel you, I can’t see you, and with all this noise I can’t hear a thing. I know you must be here, but where? What is the purpose of this?”


  • fellowship, I wonder if anyone here feels the same way I do.I wish we could get to know one another better, maybe start some kind of fellowship to unitify the church family.Say, a 4x4 couples to meet and eat at a site other than the church, so we could change up every other month. so that everyone gets to meet the entire church over a period of time of course. I feel a lot of people are coming looking for support,friendship, encouragement, guildiance and of course LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Maybe we can PRAY about this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:13 PM  

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