Transition--that's what our church is all about right now. After renting a Seventh Day Adventist building for ten years, our congregation suddenly finds itself needing to relocate. That, along with our dear associate pastor recently leaving to take a call to a new church, (the nerve!) has left us a little unsettled.
Today we toured two possible church purchases. Since my husband, Michael, is the deacon, (that's right, by God's providence, we only have one now, and Michael is it) he guided the tours today.
"As you can see, the roof looks good. Just replaced." "The classrooms comply completely with the state." "Here's how we can afford this..."
I watched him, this man I've known since he was a gangly twenty-something, going to Orange Coast (Junior) College, driving a Gran Torino, sporting a mullet.
And I was impressed. He'd done his research. He knew his stuff. He led well.
The tour ended, and we gathered for an informal "family meeting." Michael directed it with cordial professionalism. He talked about leaving a legacy for our children, using the many classrooms to provide for homeschool groups, or seminaries, or maybe even starting a Christian school. He asked whether the buildings would fit our spiritual identity.
Who knew my Michael was so wise?
But it was his heart that got me. The church we liked best had been there for fifty years. The members had stained the wood in the ceiling themselves. They served the community and the Lord with humility and love. Now struggles with money, regulations, and unforeseen yuck has caused them to sell.
Something about their plight touched my husband, and he suggested sharing the huge church with this flegling congregation if we should be able to attain it. Why not let them continue to serve the Lord in the building they so love? He suggested letting the pastor keep his office space as well.
In this world of selfish ambition, it touched me that he'd think of others--not how to get the killer deal or the "most for our money"--but to serve.
After the meeting a friend came up to me. "You are blessed to have such a wonderful, thoughtful husband. It's not often that someone has a vision." Her eyebrows scrunched with sincerity, and I thought she might cry.
My heart shot to my throat at her sweet and heartfelt compliment, and, filled with emotion, I said, "Ah, he's all right." We laughed, but then she gave me a hug.
Michael showed us Christ today. And as I walk this journey with my once goofy junior collegiate, I'll continue to be grateful for the Lord's work in his heart, knowing that as Michael becomes more like Christ, I and our church body reaps the benefits.