Everyday Religious Practice 2: The Uniting Church and Surrendering
“If you sin… God loves you. If you are kind… God loves you. If you are selfish… God loves you. If you follow all the commandments in the Bible… God loves you.”
I am nervous, very nervous. There is no need to be. I am about to enter a building where people talk about love. They smile, sing and clap hands. It is a friendly place.
But there are other things there, invisible things. The people who clap and sing say that they can see the invisible things. I cannot. That makes me different from them.
I have to calm down. Then I remember what Kurt Wolff said: surrender and catch. It is time to put down the weapons of doubt, so that I might catch the meaning that these invisible things have for these people.
I take a deep breath and walk in.
The man at the front is wearing casual clothes: beige cargo pants and a short sleeve cotton shirt. He chats and smiles. There are 53 other people in the room, lots of families and lots of children. The children play and make lots of noise. I remember these buildings as places were children were told to be quiet.
The man pulls out a colourful sash from the square pocket on his cargo pants. It is a colourful sash with a name badge pinned to it. The man puts it around his neck. This signifies a change of role. And an entry into a new world: in that world things are different. In the normal world, if I have a ball in my pocket people can ask to see it. In this world, it is not polite to ask to see the ball. We have to trust the person who says the ball is there. Sometimes people get angry if asked too many times to take the ball out of their pocket and prove that it actually exists.
But I am here and I want to see that ball. But today I will not ask.