Come to church (so they said…)
Jonny (not his real name, I put that so you wouldn’t know we were really talking about Michel…),
well, Jonny lives in the hood (drugs and all that)
and I’d love it if he could meet Christians who would really care for him.
– Come to church man, you’ll see, it’s great!
So I said…
From one hood to another
In those days, my church was totally lost in the sticks, in fact, it had just totally lost it, period.
Even the train didn’t come as far as this village…
– Wait for me at the station Mich… JONNY.
I’ll hitch-hike to church and once they get there, someone will lend me their car and I’ll come back to pick you up.
– Will they let you borrow a car just like that, man?
– Sure man*, we’re like a big family! (*man is a nickname for cool people)
A new light shone in Michel’s eyes, he’s about to meet an incredible community composed of amazing people!
(What’s that? Oh, yeah, I mean Jonny!)
Nobody’s stopping! It’s a dog eat dog world here!
Then there are those with a fish symbol (ichthus) on the back (of their car!!) who don’t stop –
it must be because it’s not their car! (Another Christian must have lent them it!)
After a 45 minute walk, I finally reach the church!
Take that, man!
I go up to a Christian lady who often prays with her hands in the air and explain the problem to her. She retorts:
– No! I’m not lending my car!
(…Afterwards, if anything goes wrong, you’ll see – there’ll be nobody who takes responsibility for it… and just because we’re nice doesn’t mean that we can’t be nasty, blahblahblah and I’m right anyway…)
Auderset quits the church! (by car)
I’m devastated! I’m so disappointed… So, what’s this all about? Is it all just for show?!
– If that’s the way it is, I’m leaving the church !
I’ll live out my faith on my own! I don’t need a bunch of hypocrites around me!
As I head for the exit, a thought comes into my mind:
– If all the ‘cool’ people leave the church, there’ll only be jerks left…
(I’m cool because I say stuff like ‘Jonny’ and ‘man’)
– You won’t give up on your faith, but what about someone like Michel? Won’t he be likely to throw the baby out with the bathwater?
In other words: he’ll reject God, when in fact, it was God’s fans that he had an issue with
(what was that? I said ‘Michel’?! I don’t think so, I’d have noticed ! And what’s more, it wasn’t me, it was God!)
– Ok, Lord, I’ll stay…so that I can make a difference and welcome people like Michel when they come…
Feeling better once again, I pluck up the courage to make the same request again to the guitarist in the church worship group.
– ‘No problem buddy, here are the keys.’
he says without hesitation,
– ‘Be careful though, the brakes don’t work!
he added nonchalantly.
MichONNY (pheww! That was close!) was still waiting for me at the station, meaning we were able to go to church together in the end….
20 years later…
In between times, I’ve been disappointed at the behavior of other Christians…and for infinitely more serious (to a factor of 10!!) reasons.
To be hurt, betrayed, vilified, epilated (if you’re called Michel and have had your name published in a book when you’d have preferred to remain incognito), etc. by those to whom you’ve shared your innermost secrets will always be a bitter blow…
To get back to my buddy from the hood,
it wasn’t so much him as ME
who went through a life-changing experience that morning…
as it was on that day that I made up my mind:
Even though my family sometimes lets me down,
it will never stop being my family and I’ll always be a part of it.