March 14, 2010
While I as walking home after street church (yes! The whole time is church, isn’t it? Even the food prep ahead of time!); anyway, of course I walked by several churches… and they were all surrounded by mostly fairly nice vehicles… and not a person in sight, not a sound escaping from the buildings… so quiet!
(I did see one guy sitting in his van drinking coffee… but it was packed with stuff… maybe he was just borrowing their parking lot space? Or??) Strange… kind of like those futuristic movies with no people… or like that series on the Discovery Channel that talks about what might happen if all humans suddenly died/disappeared…. The first few hours/days when all the signs of human habitation were still there – but no humans… there weren’t even any animals/pets in sight, for that matter! Hmmm… “I wish we’d all been ready” … but in that case there’d still be some folks around, eh!
Anyway, I felt lonely walking by those churches. Of course I know that I could just go in there and be welcomed (though I’m not so sure about my granny cart and/or backpack, and my blue jeans and wind-blown messy hair… especially if I wanted to take my cart into their sanctuary with me… )… but I’m wondering, what do “non-churched” people think when they walk by those beautiful big buildings surrounded by so many cars… and not a person in sight? “Not a sign of life!”
Wouldn’t it be something if some of those church folks just stood around outside, on/by the public sidewalk, even during the “service,” and greeted and chatted with people passing by, maybe handed out coffee…. It’s so cool at street church. We’re sitting and standing around on lawn chairs, on steps, even sitting on the grass in warm weather, talking together about You, sharing our walks, praying with each other just naturally, eating and drinking coffee together, laughing, listening…. People walking by are always greeted and invited to have a coffee and snack… and they are chatted with (and the discussion takes a break to make them feel welcomed) and lots of them decide to have a coffee, and even sit down and listen in to, even join in, the conversation.
One couple came by this morning, and accepted coffee, but were apologizing for “interrupting.” And I just burst out cheerfully, “There is no interrupting around here!” And they said, “Really? Okay! Can we sit down for a bit?” And of course we told them to go ahead, chatted with them a bit, and carried on. And that’s typical at street church! That’s church! That’s being in fellowship with You and Your people – and reaching out, naturally, with friendship, relationship – to each other and to the world that’s passing by!
Hmmmm…. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were little street churches outside church buildings all over town – and if churches all built old-fashioned “stoops” out front, lol!