It happens everyday! I get this need to get out of the office and make my way to the corner grocery. (Here in our part of the world this small “convenience” store is about as close to a communal gathering place as we are going to get) I always get the same thing, a tall 32 oz. cup of Dr. Pepper. It has become part of my daily ritual in my small rural community. They know me by now and it never fails that when I come in conversations about God or the church begin, or continue depending on who you ask.
I make it a point to listen more than I talk. Sometimes there are times of confession other times joys are shared. There is always something though, a bad day, a long day, a struggle with the kids, a bad costumer. Then there is me, the local young pastor, who happens to drop in always at the right time.
Today it was no different. A conversation ensued about the use of the word “Jesus” as a substitute for other kinds of curse words. I as the resident “preacher” was soon in the middle of the conversation, having a wonderful time listening as the people coming in and out expressed their opinion on this important matter.
Soon they all seemed to turn towards me wondering what I thought, what was my take?
I proceeded to say: “We all use God/Jesus’ name in vain at times . . .”
One of the workers stopped me on my tracks and remarked “you too do that . . .” to which another one of the workers said “that’s one of the things I enjoy about Br. Juan is always “we” when he talks”
It’s always “we!” I have not been able to shake this up, I’ve been thinking about it all day. It is always we in my mind. I connect with the struggles that we all have in our attempt to live our lives. I too understand how difficult it is to live the way the way of Jesus in the world, especially in the everyday of life.
I think there is more here . . . it is only in the “we” that we can truly walk the way Jesus. We cannot do it alone, we cannot push everyone away and pretend that somehow it is better, holier. In fact the “we” is harder, more complicated, and messier. Yet Christ calls us to this “we,” “we are one body” Paul tells us, “We are to make disciples,” says Jesus.
We also fail,
mess it up,
make it impossible,
full of trials.
In spite of its difficulties, I am thankful for the “we.” I am also thankful that I am part of a community that invites this young pastor into their lives and allows me to be part of the “we” in my community.