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Friday, May 06, 2005

The Great Wide Open- The Wanderer for Wonderwhat (15)

(Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17)
The Great Wide Open
The Wanderer looked at the men and women who had gathered with him, who shared the leadership of the church with him. They were good people, and he trusted them without boundaries. Now they sat around him, looking at him earnestly and waiting for his response. But all the Wanderer could do was look at these friends of his and admire them. There was the Cop, stocky in build and personality. His honesty and practicality were immeasurably important to the Wanderer. There was the Electrician; whose large frame contained one of the most confident people the Wanderer had ever met. For the Wanderer, that confidence was something he would lean into when searching for his own strength. He looked at all the people gathered around him; the Salesman, the Wanderer’s brother, the Intellectual. They shared his vision, they had given their hearts and minds and strength to the cause of finding a different way to do church. He loved them all. “What wonderful people to have as friends.” He thought.

“Seriously, we need to decide what to do here.” The Cop said. The Wanderer drifted back to his present reality, leaving the thoughts of admiration for another time.
“We are out of room, and this doesn’t seem to be a problem that will go away.”
“Do you realize that the kids are having to sit on the floor pretty regularly now?”
“It’s really time to get serious about finding a new place to meet.”

The Wanderer looked around the room, taking everything in. There were decorations hanging from the ceiling, surfboards hanging on the walls and propped up in various spaces. There were posters and photographs and poems affixed randomly on walls. The faint smell of coffee permeated everything. This was their hangout. This was the community’s home.
“How would we ever duplicate this?” The Wanderer said, more to himself than those with him.
“Well, we wouldn’t duplicate it, we’d just make it ours as we go.” His wife said.

At her words, the Wanderer sat up straight in his chair. This was serious. This wasn’t one of the friendly, joking banters about how to become a mega-church and buy him a jet. This was a full-fledged “intervention”, and he was the target of their concern. They were trying to seriously convince him that it was time to leave. Leave this place where they had seen this community thing work. This wasn’t like going from the living room to the dress shop. The dress shop was just an oversized living room anyway. They were talking about a lot of room.
“Do you really think more than a hundred people would actually get involved in this thing?” he laughed, hoping they’d see the ludicrousness of that notion.

To his horror, the Wanderer actually saw them roll their eyes at him.
The Electrician’s wife, so soft-spoken and meek, finally spoke up. “You’ve been saying that all along. You always think we won’t get any larger as a fellowship, and this thing just never stops growing. If this is really about people, and God is really in charge of it, then you’ve got to quit trying to manage it and control it and stunt it’s growth. This is natural; it’s really a good thing if you’d just look at it right. We haven’t been marketing or manipulating people to get involved in this, this is just happening. God must be doing it, and it must be meeting people’s needs. You’ve got to let go of this, and let God do what He wants!”

The Wanderer blinked. He knew how good her heart was. Worst of all, he knew she was right.

Cake and ice cream. You ate it first.

“I don’t know guys. Can we even afford moving to a bigger place?” The Wanderer pleaded.

You were allowed to eat your cake and ice cream first.

The disapproving looks from his friends told him his answer.
“Couldn’t we just figure out a way to keep from becoming such a big community?” He was scrambling.

But now it’s time to eat the peas.

“I mean…maybe we should start taking up offerings? Or I could teach on tithing for six months straight?” Everyone laughed, but no one agreed.

And you’re not leaving this table until you eat them all.
You may not like it, but it’s good for you all the same.

Heaving an exaggerated sigh, the Wanderer picked up his fork, and took his first bite full.
“Well, do we have any prospects to investigate? And who’s going to be in charge of negotiating a lease when we find a place?”

The energy of the conversation grew, and his friends spoke with great, animated gestures as they described how a new meeting place could be designed to fit their current needs. He knew they were right, and he loved them with all his heart.

The Wanderer watched with melancholy affection, as the last drip of melted ice cream spread under his abandoned spoon.

3 Comments:

  • I don't know what to say
    I've just read the 15 parts and it's a long time since I thought passion might still exist in me.
    My wise friends have been asking me where I am with God. My answer is that I can hear him talking but I can't understand the language he's using. Your words have pointed me to the feeling that might be the common word set I need to learn to begin to understand what He's saying.

    Thanks!

    By Blogger WB, at 8:57 AM  

  • Wow...thank you WB. What a kind review of this strange little diatribe. I relate...about hearing God talking, but not understanding the language. Anyway...I'm glad you dropped by. You deserve some sort of award plaque or something for reading the whole thing through.

    By Blogger rob, at 12:13 PM  

  • I just finished reading the 15 installments of The Wanderer. It resonates deep in my heart. God is working in me in ways He never has before and I have no idea where He's going to take me next on my journey. It should be exciting though. Thanks.

    By Anonymous co_heir, at 8:43 AM  

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