Walking in the cold wind to get to the safe haven of the Sanctuary is always a time of quick reflection as thoughts of how this meeting will go swirl about the theater of my mind. It is the first time our family has branched into attending a church conference, thoughts begin to flutter as flashes of the given agenda are contemplated, chewed on and discussed by both my husband and I as we go over both the good and the bad. The words of Jesus rise to the forefront… ‘ Romans 13:12 ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.’
My husband walks beside me doing his best to navigate the unseen road that lay ahead engaging in conversation, my hair and scarf whip in the wind as I glance over at our daughter wonder, whom walks beside us keeping her body stiff and her pace quick. Our man cub hopping as my hand clutches his, remaining consistently happy to have the wind on his smiling face surrounded by red hoody, all the while insuring that we know that he loves us, as he keeps repeating it every other second, lest we forget as countless thoughts swirl through my head, like a game of Candy Land wondering which plum fairy field I will land on next.
There are few things as humbling as watching God’s people rise and embark on expressing the views of advancing in evangelism as views which they hold dear and believe wholeheartedly come to light. For some contest, some encourage while others admonish and yet others remain prayerfully quiet. I sit now on my bed tapping on my fruitless machine thinking through all that was said. Not so much from each person but as a whole, both sides of the isle conveying thoughts of anxiousness, doubt, assuredness, angst, hope, non – conformity, branching in evangelism, concern for our own community and fear.
The most prevailing thing which was seared upon this writer’s heart and mind was our Leader’s words that evening. It was one of the things which drew our family to this little church, Cypress United Methodist Church, which we drove by countless times before deciding to come and sit in the pews, to give them our time and to listen, to observe while hoping to find something just a little different from the other churches which surround it. It is the same thing that we watched for over a year before giving our commitment to them.
The words that were said without hesitation, as he looked beyond his glasses towards each side of the isles, to those he Shepard’s, bringing us all in by simply stating with a rare humility that although the vote went a specific way he would not divide this church, God’s church. In his own way he was pushing back against agenda like non conformists who plowed their own way before him, he allowed ‘majority rules’ to take a back seat to a lesser enthralling but nonetheless captivating ‘we will go forward together, whenever and wherever that is, we will go forward, united in Christ’
It was a victory not for one side nor the other, it was to this blogger, a Victory in Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.
In this day and age, leaders like Jerome, those who lead by the Spirit of Love which binds together is encouraging and reminds us that truly Godly leaders are chosen for times such as these. What blessings have we!
Written By: Lisa Wooldridge,
Cypress UMC Member & Volunteer