23 February, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For

On Friday I ran into a woman whose family used to attend the church where I serve as pastor. Through the conversation she started telling me how things had really gone sour and that her family life had fallen apart in every respect. She said, "You know, I blame God, you and the church for all this."  I asked her how she came to the conclusion that it was God's fault or the churches fault and she said, "you gave up on us."  She said that I quit calling and visiting and no one from the church had called in several years. I let her go on for a bit and then I stopped her and asked her if she remembered the time that I called last, when she told me in no uncertain terms that she wanted me to stop calling and writing? I asked her if she remembered telling me that if they wanted to come to the church, they knew what time services were and they knew how to find it, and that I needed to leave them alone and that if they needed anything from me they knew how to contact me? She said, "Yeah, but that's your job! You should not have given up on me and my family!" I told her that I was really sorry she felt that way, but that she was wrong and if they wanted to find fault, it began with her and her husband. I reminded her, "you know what time services are and you know how to get to the church." I told her that the welcome invitation has always been extended to them, and all they needed to do was come, but I would not take the guilt or responsibility for their choosing to drop out of church or serving God. I told her that God had never given up on her, that he was still in the same place, still loving her and her family, but that they had to come to God on his terms, because God has offered the gift of life to anyone who wants it... and I said to her, "The question is, "Do you want what God has to give?"  Her response to me was numbing. She said, "Well, I'll have to think about it."

So let me get this straight. It's my fault. It's the churches fault. It's God's fault that life is unraveling. But you have to think about whether or not you want God to help you put it all back together?

All I can say is, "Be careful what you ask for!"

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