As we were leaving Menard’s yesterday evening, we debated going over to the Sonic less than a quarter-mile away. At the west end of the parking lot, you turn right to go to Sonic. Go straight to head home. “Whaddya think?” I asked Randa as we pulled out of our parking space. “I’m not all that hungry,” she replied quietly, “I just had a sandwich before we left the house.”
“Okay,” I answered, “Home it is.”
But, as I looked to the right at the intersection, I saw a young man sitting in the grass beside the street, maybe two hundred feet away. So, I turned right.
Turned out he works at Menard’s and had missed his ride. “Sometimes at the last minute they’ll want me to stock freight or something and it makes me late,” he explained. So we took an alternate route toward home.
As we rode toward the north end of 22nd Street, I asked him if he was going to school. “Yeah, I’m going to Mo West.” We found out he’s majoring in computer science and in digital animation and has dreams of going to Hollywood some day.
Just north of Frederick Avenue, the conversation hit a lull. I was thinking about asking him whether or not he’d ever had any bad experiences with church. Or any good ones. I was also thinking that maybe we’d just give him a ride and not worry about his religious concepts.
My thoughts were interrupted by a question from our guest passenger. “You folks have a church?”
“That is so weird,” I replied, chuckling out loud. “I was just thinking about asking you about your church experiences.” Turns out our rider is looking for a church.
“What kind of church are you looking for?” I asked him. “A friendly one,” he quickly answered.
Instead of some particular doctrinal bent or style of worship or distinctive program, this young man just cut right to the heart of human connection and relationship. He wants a church that will make him feel welcome and accepted. A church that honors a Savior who opened his arms, reached out his hands and said, “Come to me. And I will give you rest.”