One of the other places at which I was involved in a search process was just a little east of Buffalo on the shore of Lake Erie. During our site visit we were given the obligatory tour of the two churches (it was a two-point call). As we were being taken through one church I noticed a large mailbox in the narthex. I had never seen a mailbox in a narthex before, so I asked our tour guide what it was for.
She explained that they had a program for the Sunday school children where they could write letters to God. They would put their letters in the mailbox and then either she or the priest would answer them. She told me it was a way for the kids to ask any and all questions without feeling pressured, and without the possibility of being ridiculed in public. She also told us that they got all kinds of questions from, “Do I have to drink the wine at Communion?” to, “Why do people have to die?”
We thought this was a great idea and were either a) looking forward to seeing it in practice should we end up in New York, or b) looking forward to implementing a similar program should we end up elsewhere.
We obviously ended up elsewhere, and shortly after I arrived I told Margaret about it and asked her to find a way to get it going. After getting through the Christmas season, she was able to concentrate more fully on the Letters to God program and dropped the first set of letters to my office this past Monday. One of the first letters included this gem, “Hi. Wassup?”
So, God . . . Wassup?
Wassup is that there were three new people adopted into the household and this branch of the family tree.
Wassup is that there were a whole lot of people on hand to witness that event and pledge their support for these newest family members.
Wassup is there are still far too many people being victimized, abused, and neglected in the name of God.
Wassup is that far too many people are working to bend God's will to their own, rather than their will to God's.
Wassup is that too many people see no problem with Monday through Friday behaviors that conflict with Sunday statements of belief.
Wassup is that in the good and the bad, in the celebratory and the sorrowful, in the winning and losing, God is with us. The trick is to discern the difference between what God wants and what we want. And that takes a good bit of patience and a lot of time to listen.
So, God . . . Wassup?