Click here for a link to an article I will be discussing over the next few days: I hope you find the time to read it, but if not, I’ll quote extensively (as in the whole article in little pieces) so I suspect all will be well even if you don’t read it.
Our community is unusual. And for the most part, pretty un-self-conscious (in a good way). I doubt that many of our faithfuls ever take the time to ask big questions like, “What’s the meaning of Northstar Community?” or “Hey, anyone seen a copy of our strategic plan?” That’s not how we roll. First, I must hasten to say – there is nothing wrong with big questions or strategic plans. Heck, there isn’t anything wrong with small plans or tiny questions. It’s all good. But we just happen to be part of a community that has a long history of asking different questions. In keeping with these ruminations about questions, I took some notes on the questions I’ve recently been asked. Here are some typical kinds of questions we wrestle with DAILY:
- Is it appropriate for me to put money on my daughter’s card? (FYI, this dad is not considering paying down his daughter’s VISA card debt. The card he is talking about, and what everyone in our community understands, is the card family members can add money to so that inmates can shop for essentials in the jail’s canteen.)
- What is the relationship between forgiveness and reconciliation? (“Because if you are asking me to “be ye reconciled” to the father who sexually abused me while my mom DID NOTHING to stop it, you can just forget about it.”)
- Is it ok for me to accept a new job at a different company that will advance my career? (It’s hard to leave a company that gave you a second chance once you got out of prison.)
- What is the difference between an abusive spouse versus one who is just very, very depressed and has fits of temper followed by days of melancholy and a side order of several Bud Lights every night?
I love these questions even as my heart breaks that there is someone desperately asking them.
These are normal, typical questions we wrestle with in our small groups, topical studies and even during our worship services. I’m not happy that families suffer but I am grateful that our small community has tolerated and even embraced “messy”. But there are costs associated with this community lifestyle of vulnerability and we’ll get around to that part of the story soon enough. Today, are there any hard, vulnerable, heart pounding questions you need to ask? What needs to happen so that you can do so? Tomorrow, we will continue this discussion.