Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

7/19/2005

A Compellingly Radical Welcome

In a recent post at her Sister Mary Alternative blog, Jen writes of her first visit to an Episcopal Church. She was 12 years old and she went to church alone. Here is her brief description of what hooked her:
i asked, where's the nearest episcopalian church. suddenly, going to church with all the pomp and circumstance and none of the guilt sounded good. she told me of one a few blocks away, next door to my summer camp. Church of the Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity, NYCi went. by myself. i was 12. two things happened that sunday. one, a homeless woman came into the church after the service was well underway. she shuffled up the center aisle with her bags, looking pretty scruffy. i held my breath, wondering what people would do. i guess i thought they would throw her out. everyone else looked pretty smart. instead of throwing her out, a woman in the pew ahead of this woman turned around. she was tall, thin, wearing a nice dress, pearls, coiffed hair - really, a classic wasp. i remember watching all this agog. she turned to face the bag lady and her face lit up! she smiled and threw her arms around this homeless woman and hugged her as if she were an old friend she hadn't seen in years.

i was hooked from that moment on. i couldn't have articulated it at the time, but i was watching the very essence of christ in both these women. it was absolutely compelling.

1 Comments:

  • At 7/19/2005 5:17 PM, Blogger Pilgrim said…

    What a wonderful story! I just wish I could do that too. I want to say that I can but I'm not to sure. In my airconditioned hotel room, sitting on a comfortable couch, reading e-mail and blogs over a high-speed internet connection, drinking imported German coffee and wearing designer clothes I want to say, "Yeah... I can see that happening." And the post inspired me; made me feel good to be a Christian. Not five minutes later I had my chance to experience that kind of love. I went to the front of the hotel to have a smoke and finish my coffee. Right before I lit my cigarette I noticed a homeless man sitting on a bench adjacent to the hotel. Jen's post came rushing back... should I go over and talk to him? Do I ignore him? What do I say? Lots of questions and no faith! I felt like Pilate, "What is truth?" (I think a lot of myself don't I.) I didn't do anything. I missed my chance. Why can't I just trust Him? What am I scared of?

     

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