Abductive Columns

Monday, September 25, 2006

Strange Enough

O the changes over the past decade! I’ve lost all my old preacher friends. Not sure that their feelings toward me have changed, it’s just that our journeys have taken us in such different directions.

I think of Jeff Garrett (pulpit minister for the Norway Avenue Church) because I’m around his ministry. I’ve known Jeff for over a decade. The most important thing I can say about our relationship is that even though our paths are taking us in different directions we share one thing that is the bedrock of a spiritual friendship; a core belief in Jesus and common belief that He will keeps us together even in all our diversity.

All my friends from my former church life; I no longer have contact with. They still receive my Abductive Column articles via email but few respond. In the last six months I can think of two. One sent me pictures of his family and a warm note that brought back good memories of the times we spent together in the Ukraine. My other friend took me to task on my comments on truth.

I’ve not heard anything to confirm my feeling but it wouldn’t surprise me if I found out they all felt I’ve gone off the deep end. Does it bother me? Honestly, it does. Like everyone, I want leave a good impression and sweet aroma with the people I’ve known.

Do I miss doing ministry with these godly men? Yes. But I can’t go back to old forms that I find ineffective and secondary to what is most important. Not that I’m right and their wrong or that I have been given wisdom from above and they haven’t—it's just that my journey has taken a path that has left insular programs and church activities in its wake.

These changes have given me some insight into what I should have known all along. The people most interested in me are the ones I spend the most time with. Church or no church, people are people. Church people are no better than the unchurched. We all have the same needs and wants. To be honest, I have found the unchurched to be just as loving, caring, and maybe less judgmental, more tolerate and as capable of expressing grace as the believer.

These are the ones Jesus misses.
These are the ones Jesus spent most of His time with. These are the ones we need to spend time with.

I’ve come to genuinely care about my friends. I have a lot of them. More than I have Christian friends. But I have to admit...

it can get lonely!


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