For the past six months we’ve been a tiny part of a new church-plant in our city. We’re meeting in a historic middle school that’s not far from us in distance, but worlds away from our experience. These differences often leave me feeling a little discombobulated. Yet, as often as I feel out of sorts and out of place, I also feel as though Spirit is pressing me to lean in as he changes the weave in the tapestry called Cas Monaco. Each week, with each knit and stitch, he adds some extra texture, swirls in some vibrant color, and messes with my life’s comfortable and familiar rhythm. I find myself eager to embrace the promised warmth and a little afraid. I’m self-consciously aware that while I want to wrap myself in this mingling of cultures, I’m pretty sure it will take time.
This discombobulating experience includes me serving as a greeter stationed outside at the top of the first flight of cement steps. Each week as becoming-familiar friends head my way I start greeting, “How y’all doing this morning? So glad you’re here!” First of all, I cannot believe I am actually saying “y’all” y’all! And, sometimes while I am tempted to wonder if they would rather see a more familiar face, I’m choosing to trust that mine, worn and freckled, is the one the Lord has for them right now. They have no idea how much I love seeing theirs.
This past Sunday, at the back end of the service as I waited at my post to say goodbye and “thank y’all” for coming, I prayed for those who attended the service for the first time, for the people who live nearby in the tall townhouse with the turquoise door, and for the unknown inhabitants of the square little cottage with the barking, barking, barking dog. I prayed for the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ to mysteriously weave its way into the hearts of imago-Dei scattered within this well-worn neighborhood like it has in mine in a fresh way in this mingling of cultures.