A few of us had heard that protesters like this were making the rounds to churches like ours, but most of us were surprised by the sight. I went out to say a hello to the guy, offer him a cup of coffee and encourage him to be safe. He shared some rather judgmental and hateful views, and I went back to begin worship
As we began worship, I mentioned our guest who was on the shoulder of the road. I wasn’t sure what to say to our guests from the Pride Institute…I told them we do everything we can for this to be a safe and inviting space for them. And then in one of those things that sometimes just sort of come out of my mouth I said, “We can handle this.”
I had been looking around at all the different people: kids and families, a choir loft full of college students, older members in the front pews and the people from Pride. Standing up I felt that power which is stirred when something brings to light a common value. And it wasn’t anger or malice for the guy with the GoPro camera strapped to his chest that was apparent. It was the energy of a community willing and ready to stand up and be counted for something.
All of us were inspired on Sunday to frame the light of God’s love in ways other than judgment and hate. As the
A Cappella Choir sang, the depth of their blended voices touched the deeper parts of our souls that needed tending. The scripture provided an encouraging word of affirmation and second chances. And the looks on the faces of those people from Pride when I shook their hands at the end…well it made me feel proud to be a part of this church
Now, I’m not saying that I want a different protester every week… what I am saying is that one thing our renewed vitality has provided us is the courage and focus to say, “We can handle it,” and trust that God will provide what is needed.
Keep the Faith,