Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why I smelled like pot this past Sunday

Midway through the service on Sunday as the announcement videos were playing I thought I'd lean over on the platform and ask my son Dustin (who serves with us in ministry) how his morning was going. Both of us had been up super early working on things for the service. We made it through an early morning rehearsal and then Christian Education hour but had hardly said two words to each other.  Now we were in our usual spots right next to each other on the platform and I leaned over, gave him a hug and said, "how ya doin' this morning, babe?"

Dustin pulled back, gave me a strange look and he said, "ahhhhhh,Mom...did you wear that dress when you were in the Bahamas this past week?" I said, "no, it's a clean dress that I took out of my closet this morning." 

His eyes were big and he seemed somewhere between alarmed and amused and said, " smell like pot. So strong Mom, it's really overwhelming." 

"What? Are you SERIOUS?"

"Yes, I'm totally serious. You reek Mom, like pot."

"Wow. I dunno Dust...that's strange. I have no idea why I would smell like pot."

So at this point I was wondering what in the world was going on because I did not smoke pot, nor do I ever. (It's not just a matter of not "inhaling," LOL!) So I conferred with others who confirmed that I smelled and came to the conclusion of what must have taken place. 

Immediately prior to service, I had gone up to the CE building and used the restroom, then came back down through the foyer, cafe and breezeway on my way into the sanctuary, stopping to hug a whole bunch of people and greet them their way in to the service. This included long-time members, visitors, new folks, all sorts of people. Then I headed to my spot on the platform where church was ready to begin.

We have all kinds of people coming to Celebration Church.  

We have people coming who have moved here, been believers for 30 years and love the church and make it their home.  

We also have people who are coming to the altar to accept Jesus who end up telling me their "stage name". ;) 

We have folks who write on their guest cards, "sorry, I don't have an address right now -- I am homeless."  

We have people coming who have addictions, dysfunctional homes, and all kinds of problems big and small.

And...we have people coming into Celebration who smoke pot.

I'm not recommending smoking pot, by the way. I'm not endorsing it, or saying it's right -- especially being that it's illegal, I'm simply saying we're a church who is reaching people at all different levels in their spiritual walk. For a church that is reaching the lost, I believe it is normal. We meet them right where they are.  It makes me so happy that we are reaching people who feel they need to numb their pain by smoking pot. What a privilege to share with them the truth of the healing power of Jesus, to see them grow as the Holy Spirit works on them.

So many people are concerned more about their comfort level than people pain. Do we care more about our discomfort that someone may walk through the church doors high, or do we care more about speaking to the pain that drove them to smoke drugs? I want to listen, then speak to the pain, and offer freedom in Christ.

In retrospect I shouldn't have been a bit surprised that I smelled like pot.  I'm a shepherd. What do true shepherds do? They hang around sheep and they generally smell like them. 

 In his book, “Love Acceptance and Forgiveness”, author Jerry Cook says,  “Jesus hung around with sinners, and if we’re too holy to allow people to blow smoke in our faces, then we’re holier than Jesus was.  Love acceptance, and forgiveness. Those three things are absolutely essential to any ministry that will consistently bring people to maturity and wholeness.” 


Jessica Lewis said...

Love this post! Keep loving people like Jesus did.

Deanna Shrodes said...

Thanks Jessica! You too! Love you