Monday, September 8, 2008

Train Traveler and Disciple Reminder


She stood there with a book in her right hand and a carry-on bag in her left. As the train shuttered into motion again she looked down at the empty seat next to my wife, Amy. She noticed the book in Amy’s hand and said, “I’m a reader too so we will get along well. Ya, know some people you meet on the train just talk and talk… but not me.” She sat down and talked to Amy for the next hour only stopping because we were getting off at our destination.

The traveler sitting next to my wife started out with the easy non-controversial topics of politics and religion. After learning that Amy was a Democrat and minister and obviously a woman she replied, “I did not know that you could be a Christian and be a democrat.”

Exhausted and tired from the past 12 hours on the train, Amy calmly shared that indeed it was possible to be all three and that the church she belong to there were even Republicans, Democrats and even a few independents sitting in the same pews. Of course the traveler had never heard of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) but seemed excited to learn that one of our good friends was the minister at Central Christian Church in Denver, the travelers hometown.

The conversation ended in nearly the same way it started with the shuttering of the train only this time coming to a stop. The traveler said to Amy as we packed up to leave, “I’m going to have to think about my faith. I never knew that someone like yourself or a church like the one you go to existed. I’m going to have to check out the church in Denver!”

That’s the story, amazing as it is, it really happened and left me with this wonderful memory of what Disciples of Christ can offer the human community. At our best we are an amazing tapestry of people who do not always agree on all social issues or particular religious doctrines or even presidential candidates. And yet, the most powerful thing we do as Disciples is gather Together around a communion table and remember that with God’s help we are called to be one Body.

I think Disciples think too often that we are neutral in the way we live out church and our faith! Well to that traveler on the train, Disciples were to her like a breath of fresh, spirit air filling up her soul. And being reminded of this treasure by overhearing the conversation between my wife and the traveler was priceless! OR should I say proinquitous with the God I know!

3 comments:

Dan Mayes said...

Bill,

Thanks for this good post. I have also confronted that stigma created by the ultra-right-wing. I like how your wife responded.

Randy said...

i didn't know you could be republican either so i'm glad amy clarified that. thanks for the post.

Rachel said...

I love stories like this. I hate the word evangelism, but I love telling people about my open and inclusive faith which is housed in an open and inclusive denomination. :)