Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How willing am I to forgive?

Occasionally I see or hear something and it strikes me as so different from myself that I marvel. For 18 years the church that I serve has been a portable church. For a little over 3 months now we’ve been in our own permanent place. During the nomadic days we kept nearly everything we owned in a trailer. Every Sunday we’d pull the trailer up to a school that we rented and we would unload sound equipment, lighting, staging, nursery beds, toys, supplies, children’s education furniture, communion trays, Bibles, and the list goes on.

If you’re not aware of churches operating this way it has been going on for years.

In March, Kinetic Church in Charlotte, NC, had their trailer stolen by some unknown thief. That trailer contained over 75% of everything they owned. What would you do?

I can imagine grieving, being angry, asking the church to pray for the thief but I would never have thought of doing what Kinetic Church did. They bought billboards around the city advertising to the thief that they forgave him. The pastor posted a message on their web site and on YouTube (pasted below) inviting the thief to contact him because the pastor would like to take him/her out to dinner and just get to know him/her. The pastor went on to assure the thief that he/she would feel comfortable in their church because they have a lot of screwed up people in their church that God is saving and transforming.

I’m grateful that God gives us grace to forgive. I also yearn for God to work in my heart so that I don’t just forgive from distance but that I would also want to get up close and personal in a compassionate and redemptive way.

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