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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Asking the Obvious Question

I can remember the day as if it happened just yesterday...

My colleague and I went to lunch at Pizza Hut. Of all the times we went to breakfast or lunch, this is the only time we ever went to a Pizza Hut. So we are sitting in the booth, and the waitress comes over to take our order. Mike, looking up from the menu, asks her, "Do you ever get to church?"
The woman looks down at him, and smiles back, "No, not too much anymore. I used to go when I was young, but not since then."
I was struck by her response, so I asked the obvious question, "If I may ask, how old are you now?"
"19."
Mike handed her his card, and said, "We'll have a large pepperoni, and you should stop by our church some Sunday. We try to have fun."

Since that lunch about 19 years ago, I have always tried to remember to ask the obvious question when meeting people for the first time. My brother's wife ("What do you see in him?"); potential employers ("What do you want me to do?"); potential employees ("What are you good at?"); my daughters' friends ("Did you know I know a lot of cops in town?"). And, of course, when I find myself meeting new people I usually get around to asking if they've been to church recently. The age question is optional.

One of the things I've always appreciated about Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God, is his penchant for not being embarrassed at asking obvious questions... Who touched me? Do you want to be healed? Why are you coming to me at night like a bandit?... Unless he was completely obtuse, he must have known those answers long before he asked the question...yet, he asked, and somehow people trusted and befriended him. Maybe that's the secret to relationships, the power of relationships...to ask the obvious question...not because you need to know the answer...but just to show you care.

1 comment:

Scott Frederickson said...

Alas, this is one question I cannot answer.
Scott