On many Sunday’s we go to ‘regular’ church which for the most part I really enjoy. On occasion, which was the case this last Sunday, my nine year old asks me, “Dad, can we do church at home today?”
Now being able to vaguely remember what it is like to be a nine year old I begin to try and figure out the motive behind the request. A shorter time frame, closer to available snacks, sitting in a variety of positions on the couch and bugging his brother begin to enter my mind as possible motivations. I mean really, it never crossed my mind that he may have legitimate intentions of a God encounter or at least that God may be speaking through my son, because he is nine! I gave this some passing interest and basically resigned myself to the fact that he was trying to get out of something. Amidst these bites of conversation, I received an email from a friend on a recent experience of how they stayed home from ‘regular church’ and related some powerful times they had together. Now I may be thick, but even I got that one, “ok God I’m listening now”
We sat around the living room, my three children and I, as we each shared something from a passage of scripture, sang some hymns together and I chimed in with a ditty on being ‘salt and light’. I figured that wasn’t enough, as I sensed we needed to get ‘our hands dirty a bit’, so we piled into the car and off to COOP to get some groceries, in hope we could find some soul in our community that may need some help.
Everyone was given instructions on the correct posture to hear God, quiet and staring out the window of the car, as I drove around our community. Quite often hearing God isn’t all that hard, we just make it that way by getting a little too much in the mindset of ‘ghost busters’ and we miss the obvious. A while into our journey we happened upon a street that had very young children playing on it with moms sitting on the front step either reading or just catching a breather. From the shape of the buildings I recognized them as Calgary housing units and some of the toys strewn around gave voice to an area of opportunity. Didn’t really hear anything specifically, but it was pretty obvious that we might be in the right place, no magic, no ghosts to bust, just real life, hard to miss.
We approached one mother, explained who we were and that we wanted to help her because Jesus had helped us many times. Not too scary. She asked us what we had and upon examination received all of the food. Visiting with her we found out she was a Muslim from north Sudan and she told me, “We believe in Jesus too!” Well that is great cause we pray to Jesus when we need help, do you need any help? Yes! ok can we pray now? Sure?!, ok, simple prayer to Jesus aloud and that was it. Exchanged some contact info and children’s names etc and off we went. Hope to see them again, I’m pretty sure we will, for even her nine year old chimed in with, “next time you come, bring me some skinny jeans, the gray ones!”
Well son, what is it you want to do? Sure we can, you might be on to something there! No rocket science, no ghosts, not much scariness, just a lot of stuff so close I could hardly see it.