Following Sunday’s difficult service, I had this email in my inbox tonight. I will pull this out whenever I feel like I’ve made no difference whatsoever. The author is a young man with a wife and adopted son, who has been attending our church off an on for a few months. (names have been removed)
I just wanted to say to you again — you did a tremendous job this morning. Given the gravity and the circumstances of the family’s situation, I wouldn’t have wanted to be in your shoes during the service today. But, you handled a terrible and shocking situation in the most beautiful way. And I’m sure everybody who was in church this morning feels the same way. It’s hard to wrap your brain around such tragedies. My wife and I have had our share of them, but thankfully haven’t dealt directly with anything quite this shocking — though, we’ve watched some friends grieve over loved ones who died unexpectedly, tragically — and in a couple of instances, horrifically. And in all of those other situations, the pastor/priest/etc would tell the grieving to not be angry at God…and I could never accept that, never in a million years. So to hear a pastor tell her congregation that “It’s okay to be angry, God can handle it” was the most wonderful thing I’ve heard a preacher of Christianity say.
I’m, admittedly, not the most devout Christian to come down the pike…I consider myself 1/2 Buddhist and 1/2 Christian…and while I believe that would be a problem in some churches, I think it’s something you could accept easily. And for that I thank you…
The point is…(at least from where I am standing) you took the most horrible of situations and made the best sense out of it, better than anyone I’ve ever met. That service was hard to get through…I can’t imagine what you were going through.
Anyhow…I’m sure you know that you delivered the goods, as it were, this morning…but thought I could confirm it for you. Your church, and it’s congregants, have made me (and my family) feel more welcome than any other we have stepped into…and I’m sure most or all of that has to do with your leadership.
A million thanks. Be well,