Vol.XX No.I Pg.8
March 1983

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

The little room was a bedlam of confusion. People jammed every available space, including the little nook that had been created by knocking out a wall between the main room and a small closet. A songbook dropped on a hard, scarred, second-hand pew made a sharp sound, which echoed from the stark painted walls. It was joined by the shuffling of feet against a bare concrete floor, the kicking of pews by small children, babies crying, the dropping of bottles or toys that were supposed to "keep them quiet."

And this was worship time! The congre- gation numbered 28 adults, who had 23 children — eight years and under. During the singing and the sermon a steady stream of young mothers went in and out of one rest room, changing the younger, trying to keep from having to change the older. During the prayers and Lord's Supper they tried to hold squirming youngsters, or to smother babys cry with loving kisses. Everyone sang, whether they knew how to sing or not, and they drowned most other sounds with a great upheaval of voices, raised to God. Then someone introduced the visiting preacher with apologies for "this situation..." And the preacher began: "Some day you will have a beautiful building with lofty high ceilings. The floor will be carpeted, windows draped, the pews softly cushioned, and the singing will sound awful. You will have tile restrooms, antiseptic and sweet; a nursery with small white beds; lavatories with much hot water; and there will be no babies to take there. Your fiberglass baptistery will have ever-warm, fresh water, lovely dressing rooms, electrically controlled curtains, beautiful lighting; but few to baptize.

Now, you are a growing, working, vibrant church. You have drafted one another to work for the Lord. You sit with a neighbor's children while your preacher has Bible classes for the parents. You eat peanut butter sandwiches together and wonder what will happen if a few more get "laid off." But you are rich in love. Would you trade God's approval for money or Sunday at a Club; a place in heaven for one on the right side of the tracks? Can you not GROW without losing sight of today's blessings??"

And they answered with one voice: "preach on preacher, we are blessed!!"