The folks gathered in the donut shop were saying a few words about themselves. When it was Ron’s turn, he said the following.
“I’m the fish out of water in this group,” Ron laughed. “I’m not one of you; by that I mean, I’m not a Christian. I don’t have any settled religious beliefs; I want to have some, but I haven’t reached that point. I’d like to settle into a faith tradition, but I don’t know a lot yet, and I’m not sure what I believe about God.”
“How did you end up here, then?” asked Matt.
“Jensi invited me,” replied Ron. “You see, I sometimes hang around her church, St. Mary’s. I’m curious about what Christians do. At first, I kept myself as invisible as possible. I’d enter the door after worship had begun, and stay in the–what do you call it, Jensi?”
“The narthex,” she replied.
“I’d remain in the narthex, listening in. I had no idea what was happening, but I was intrigued. I wanted to ask questions, but didn’t know if I would be welcome. So I left before worship was over. Then one Sunday I got up the courage to walk into the worship space during the opening song. But I scooted out real quick at the end. Just didn’t want to talk with anyone.”
“I noticed you do that,” smiled Jensi.
“You did, and the next week when I tried to make my ‘escape’ you left the service, too, and invited me to stay for the social hour. When you told me there were homemade chocolate chip cookies, how could I say no? I felt welcomed by everyone’s kindness. So I’ve gone back a few times. I’ve come to think of myself as ‘fellow traveler’ with the people of St. Mary’s. I’m curious to know more about how Christians think. So when Jensi invited me here today, how could I refuse? She promised me good donuts, good conversation, and good friends!”
God of all, help us accept one another wherever each of us is in our journey of faith. Amen