by Lori Dixon
Who are we to reject and not reach out to those who shuffle into our churches, looking for acceptance?
Shuffling in…and Right Back Out
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14, ESV)
A woman walked into church, shuffling in on her heels. Why, you ask? She was trying to save her soles.
Okay, so that’s a groaner, I admit! But there are those who walk around the foyers and halls of our churches afraid to step on anyone’s toes or, worse yet, fearing they will be stepped on. As much as we’d like to believe that our places of worship are a safe place for everyone, the reality is…often it’s not.
Why is it that we can be so judgmental to fellow believers? Why do we think it’s okay to make them feel unwelcome or unworthy? Lord have mercy on us for all the souls we’ve hurt and sent limping away, rejected and still searching for truth.
Jesus was such an example setter for us. He loved everyone, even though he knew that by accepting, touching and spending time with the unlovely or the sinners he would be judged and criticized. Of course, aware that they needed comfort and healing, He put their needs ahead of his own reputation or comfort; it is not the healthy who need a doctor (Matthew 9:12). The stories of him interacting with lepers or adulterers make me weep with the realization that He knows my sin, he knows how I stumble and fall and yet chooses to have fellowship with me as well.
The fact that the Creator of the universe wants to have a relationship with us is amazing enough, but to realize He wants us in spite of our faults is humbling beyond words. Who are we then to reject and not reach out to those who shuffle into our churches, looking for acceptance? The Lord died to save their souls; we need to remember that ‘our’ church is actually His.