It's happened a lot lately.
At the grocery checkout, in the stylist chair, at gymnastics with my daughter; it keeps blindsiding me.
It's a sneak attack that I'm not ready for, yet each time I find the Holy Spirit is available to answer for me.
People keep asking me about Church.
It's a good thing, don't get me wrong, but it's hard to do and say what needs to be said in the 4 minutes it takes me to cash out at the grocery or when I'm trying to keep Ruby from jumping square onto the head of another unsuspecting toddler.
I guess that's what the Lord talks about when He says for us to sow seeds.
I need to get better about accepting all that, just sowing the seed and not reaping the harvest.
This last time was an interesting one, though. It was while I was being waxed.
I'll let you fill in any blanks.
It was a great conversation and one that was entirely unexpected, and it got me thinking about all the people in the world that have questions. How, as Christians, we are sometimes afraid and apprehensive to answer them; and what a disservice that does to the Kingdom's reach.
I hear you Spirit, I'll keep having awkward conversations in inconvenient places.
The actual subject of the conversation during my waxing appointment stuck with me. I love the lady that waxes me, she's kind and smart and warm and genuinely happy. She loves what she does, and is so knowledgable, she has truly become a friend. Having this conversation with her was easy and fun, she asked great questions and made good points.
She told me about her apprehension to go to church; that one of her friends went to church and overheard a whisper from another churchgoer about how her friend has some "dirty laundry" and maybe she wasn't the type of person you would expect to find in a church.
This enraged me beyond description.
I nearly leaped from the waxing table and overturned it with my righteous hand of anger, Jesus style.
Trying to clear my friend's heart of that impression, I informed her that that was the only type of person I would expect to be in a church. I told her of the dinners Jesus had with "unsavory" people and His declaration that it is not healthy that need healing, but the sick.
And while I felt good about how I left things, this still needs saying.

Looking down on people for bringing sin into the church is like getting mad at people who bring dirty laundry to a laundromat. That's where we are all supposed to bring it!

Churches are not museums and socialite clubs.
They are not the Oscars of the Upright or the Parade of Perfectionism.
Churches are hospitals and shelters and trenches.
Churches, Sisters, are laundromats.
If you didn't walk in there with dirty laundry, what are you even doing there?
WE ALL carry around baskets of soiled clothes. Nobody's clothes are more or less dirty than another's. No one person can out sin another.
There is a Washer that can handle ANY mess.
And wants to.

Righteousness isn't a competition and salvation is not a trophy to be won.
Churches are places to have wounds healed, to find safety in the storm, and combat the enemy with fellow soldiers.
Churches are places for people to bring their dirty clothes and wash them clean.
If you are in a church that operates like people aren't really "church type" people. Get a new church.
Or your church doesn't preach that, but you hear and see that being whispered, call for the sinless to cast the first stone.

Churches are an extension of the dinners that Jesus had with our fellow sinners.
Churches are places of refuge and hope.
A building full of people who have already had their clothes cleaned should never turn away a fellow basket bearer.
There is always room.
There is always a Washer open.
There is no stain too stubborn.
There is no load too large.
Bring your dirty laundry, we want it.
Nothing Fancy.

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