Tuesday, June 26, 2012


everybody needs somebody...

it's just built into our dna...
we need the presence,
of other human beings.  

we were created to 
and to be loved.

we were designed to be in relationship 
as we believe 
GOD is in relationship...
and the best of relationships 
are rooted in 

everyone alive desires to be 


so my friend 
recognized in my voice and in my texting 
that it was time for me to meet some new friends.

so from 1000's of miles away he introduced me 
to his friends who happened to live near me.

one night i was invited 
to join the group.

though the gathering started later 
than i was used to staying up
i agreed to go.

on the way
i got lost
and after i was lost for about 20 minutes 
i got 
(when you are this lost...proper grammar is the last thing on your mind!)

i hate being late.
i hate being lost.
so i called and told one in the group 
that i wasn't going to be able to make it.

"i'm lost...
and i'm just not in a good place,"
i told him.

then he said,
"blake, i got the group together tonight 
just to meet you.
calm down, 
tell me where you are
i can get you where you need to be."

and he did.

i didn't know anyone who had gathered.

here i was 
20 years older
and to top it off 
a presbyterian minister from the suburb.

why would any of these guys 
give one hoot about me.
and yet they offered me hospitality.

low key hospitality.

by the end of the evening 
each one in the group had taken me aside...
basically they told me the same thing:

"look, we know you have a story
we all do.  
it's ok.  
we want to hear your story
and we will hear it in due time
but  tonight
we're just are glad you are here....
tonight just be here with us."

this odd group of guys 
with stories as diverse as they come
showed me what we in the church should be all about. 

this odd group of guys
who, for the most part,
had been hurt and shunned by the church
reached out to me
even though they knew 
i was a minister

even though i remained
a part of the institution
that had treated them so harshly

even though....

they offered me 
the hospitality 
the church refused to offer them.

one at a time
they welcomed me
shared stories with me
and said,
it's all going to be ok. 

isn't this what the church should be all about?
shouldn't we be more 
about hospitality
hospitality that offers an unconditional welcome
and a promise to listen
and care. 

i will remain thankful 
for the rest of my life 
to those guys who gathered one 
wednesday evening 
on my behalf. 

they've changed the way 
i welcome folks into the church. 

1 comment:

Linda C said...

God's grace at work!