Saturday, May 7, 2011

Taking a friend to church

Over the years of my life, with my numerous residences, jobs and congregational memberships, I've frequently invited neighbors or co-workers to come to church on Sunday. Seldom have I received an affirmative answer, alas.

Sunday the 27th of March I got that rare opportunity! The place where I've lived since the beginning of the year, "The Academy" (a transitional home mainly for military vets), includes another Army vet named Mick. He served in combat in A-stan. . . you can imagine the after-effects he's suffered. Despite those, he's a bright, calm and friendly fellow. I've liked Mick from the beginning, and the two of us have confided mutually in each other.

Well, on the 27th I'm sitting in the common area, dressed for and awaiting time to depart to Sunday worship at Eastwood Christian Church (Disciples). Mick comes walking in, attired in a dark suit, white shirt and dark necktie. I quip, "Well, Mick, you look like you're fixin' to preaching somewhere!"

Smiling, he comes around to saying that he's actually contemplating where to go for Sunday worship. In a heartbeat I invite him to come along with me to Eastwood. And Mick accepts!

So we two pile into "Antonio Margil", my new '95 Acura Integra, and headed over to East Nashville. On the way I describe the congregation, the style of worship and some of why I'm so devoted to this collection of brothers & sisters in Christ. As I told Mick, "I'm very hesitant to equate any one congregation with the (mystical or spiritual) Body of Christ, but Eastwood comes about as close as any congregation I've ever experienced."

Praise be to the Lord! My Eastwood brothers & sisters live up to my billing! It was a "typical" Sunday morning at 1604 Eastland St., in that I go away very spiritually refreshed. And Mick clearly is also nourished in his spirit. This is what "having church" is supposed to be. . . .

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