Sunday, May 31, 2009

Welcome, Stranger

Posted by Jack

Several weeks ago, as a part of our efforts to reach out to the Body of Christ in the area, Tim Miller and I attended a Sunday morning service at a church in downtown Springfield.

We love this church and the members of the Body represented there.

To call this church affluent is an understatement. The entire congregation was composed of upper middle class to upper class citizens of the Miami Valley. The building was absolutely immaculate. A school operates in the facilities, and the parking lot was lined with vehicles that cost more than our house.

After the service, we were standing in the reception area drinking coffee and staring at the ceiling in awe and wonder.

A woman approached us as we were talking with some other new members of the church.

"Where are you from?" she asked.

"Over on Mulberry Street. We just moved in."

"Mulberry Street? Where's that?" she asked. Her face wrinkled in confusion, although the look on her face betrayed her. She knew exactly which area we were referring to.

Tim looked at her and plainly said, "It's 3 or 4 blocks south of here."

She looked as Tim gestured in the direction of the house.

"Oh, you guys are next to [she mentioned a specific location]?"

"Yes," I said. "That is where we are from."

"Oh," she said, and her face contorted to demonstrate her clear disgust.

"Seedy place," she said, making no effort to hide her ill feelings for our home.

I looked at Tim in stunned disbelief.


benjamin said...

This just goes to show that the church has in some areas been reduced to a spiritual country club. Its sad that she has lost so much of her vision and purpose in this world and instead sought bankrolls of privilege and the blessings they bring. If there are indeed mansions in Heaven than that woman may very likely be relegated to a house very much like Mulberry House.

derek said...

this is crazy! the saddest part though is that i think a lot of people would hear this story and think primarily of how rude the woman was in the conversation rather than how wrong her general outlook was. almost as though its ok to think like she does, but you dont say it to someone's face. in this regard, i guess we could say at least this woman was honest about the way she thought (and in such revealed the lack of action on the part of the church to change her outlook... or, heaven forbid, the church's responsiblity for creating and fostering such an outlook).