Today, I saw it for myself. First hand. The heart of the “church”.
The girls and I made our lets stock the freezer with meat trip. We do this every 3 or 4 months. We hit the “chicken store”, then stop on the way back at another store and stock up on beef. This store has a hotdog stand outside, run by various churches as fundraisers for all of their oh-so-important programs and building projects.
So picture, if you will me and my two girl as we walk up to this hotdog stand, with their church sign proudly displayed. You can buy a hot dog and a drink for $1.50. I had $3 in cash and a handful of change, not because I’m destitute, but because I generally don’t carry cash. So I asked “How much is just a hotdog, without the drink?”
“Oh, I can’t sell it that way, you have to buy the hotdog AND the drink.” Blink blink. So I count out the change, and I’m FOUR CENTS short, four stinking pennies.
So I tell the 4 people working in the hotdog stand “I’ll have 2 hotdogs and 2 drinks please.” Olivia, who hasn’t learned to be subtle at all pipes up “Mom, don’t you have enough to buy yourself a hotdog?”
“No, I don’t.”…..long pause “Mom, how much more do you need?” “Four cents Olivia.” The FOUR (as in each could have chipped in a stinking penny) churchy people HEAR this…hand me the two hotdogs and two drinks and tell me “God bless you.”
I confess, I have NEVER IN MY LIFE wanted to flat out cuss out a group of church people as much as I did at that moment, and I don’t cuss! Not because I was really craving a hotdog, but because they stood there behind their church sign, so wrapped up in getting that $1.50 for their program that they didn’t realize that right in front of them was a person who as far as they know didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, and possibly didn’t know Jesus.
Now, what if I was a single mom? a homeless mom, a mom who had one shot at getting a hotdog for the day and all that stood between me and that hotdog was FOUR CENTS and FOUR CHURCHY PEOPLE? Then I would have been a hungry mom for the day, but I got a “God bless you.” And guess what, that “God bless you” would have forever been a stench in my nostrils.
The church says “Why aren’t we seeing revival?” “Why isn’t God moving?” Because church you are so worried about your programs, your building funds, and your bank accounts that you forget that what God is concerned with is PEOPLE.
God, please don’t ever let me be thought of as “churchy”.