On a morning that dawned, or rather clouded and rained, I spent some time waiting for a friend to undergo a procedure. As I watched the people come and go, it dawned on me that there were way too many people with problems in that place. It seemed like every person that came to the sign in desk had something wrong with them and needed help.
And as I watched the staff try to help them, I wondered just how much all this was costing someone - the person, or their insurance, or the taxpayers. The place was real nice. Did they have to spend all that on TV's for the waiting room? That coffee maker over there - it must have cost a bunch. All those machines in the back, those tests, the professionals - my head was swimming just thinking about it.
About that time a young woman came by in a wheelchair, surrounded by family. She was carrying in her arms a newborn baby. On a dark and rainy day, her smile and of all those around her, brightened us all.
Then followed an older woman, also being wheeled outside, whose husband walked beside her in pride and happiness, as if he were escorting a queen. From the looks they shared, he was.
It made me stop and consider just what that place was all about. Even though everyone entering had something that needed care, or something that was wrong with them, it was okay, because they were in just the right place to be wrong.
Reminded me of Church.
Romans 3:12 (Msg)
They've all taken the wrong turn;
they've all wandered down blind alleys.
No one's living right;
I can't find a single one.
Everyone that comes through the doors of a church has one thing in common with everyone else. There's something wrong with them. Oh, the maladies may be wildly different, but in the end they are the same. The one who just got there to the one whose been there 50 years. The one who stands up front and preaches, to the one who sits on the back row and sleeps. Lots of time, energy and money are used to create and maintain a place for the sole use of people who cannot seem to ever be cured - they still do things wrong.
That's okay, because all of them are in just the right place to be wrong, if they want to get better. God has whispered a diagnosis, prescribed a treatment, and in order to really get cured, they need to get close enough, regularly enough to be exposed to His love, until it becomes theirs.
Hypocrites? Sure. But trying to get better. Will they take other wrong turns? Absolutely. But they've stopped by to get directions. They're on their way to getting better.
A church like New Hope is just the right place to be wrong. Come and see what it feels like to be loved no matter what.