The move to Charlotte is almost complete. We have found a local grocery store, bank branch, local park to take our morning walks, and even a local lab where my weekly blood work is taken and sent off to Georgetown for analysis. The computer, printer, and TV are finally working, and we are learning our way around the city. However, for me the move will not be complete until we find a church. I of course will miss Luis’s sermons and the friends I made over the years at St. John’s. Those are valuable and special parts of my life. What I worry if I don’t find a church is that I will become careless with my religion. Others can stay welded to their faith without a church, but I am not one.
Several times in my life, I felt I had lost contact with God. I was not able ask him for help because I had not been including him in my life. It was similar to being reluctant to call a friend for a favor, when you have kept him out of your life for years. I needed a revelation, but nothing happened, and I was sure it was because I had lost contact. However, I had started returning to church. Often sitting in the back or the side, I basked in the quiet and observed others, especially the tired workers, or the older worshippers with stooped shoulders and obviously painful joints. Life had knocked these people around, but for those moments in church they were being refreshed by the experience of simply being in “God’s place.” Then the revelation came to me. I was one of them, and in my need I gained strength from the knowledge that they too had needs, and we had all been drawn to the same place.
In this time of disputes about Church dogma and fundamentalism in many faiths, I tend to let those discussions belong to others. Somewhere away from all the shouting are some basic truths. One of them is the comfort and peace that comes with a few quite minutes in a pew at a welcoming church.
Your friend, Webb