A Thank You Letter

Dear Protestors,

I’m not going to include the name of your group in this post, because I really don’t want to hear from you. Plus I know that you consider yourself a church and I have a real problem calling you that.

But I am writing this letter to thank you.

Surprised?

I wouldn’t think you get very many thank you letters.

Honestly, when I first heard you were coming to protest at the funeral, I wasn’t thankful. I was angry.

But then I saw these pictures on our local newspaper’s website:

….and I wanted to tell you thanks.

The people who came to show their support for those who attended the memorial service don’t all run in the same circles. Most of the time we’re just people who pass each other in the grocery store who don’t know each others’ names or stories. But last Friday, we were family. And when someone in your family needs you, you show up to do whatever you can.

Thank you for giving us a chance to come together and take care of one another.

Thank you for reminding us that love beats hate every time and that a friend loves at all times.

Thanks for reminding us that we aren’t just  a “little c” church, a group of people who get together on Sunday to sing songs and listen to a sermon. We are called to be a “big C” Church, the Body of Christ. His hands and His feet. Jesus with skin on.

I can’t pretend to understand you or the way you try to use other people’s pain for your own purposes, but I do know that you intended to harm us, but God used it for good.

So, thank you.

P.S. Before I go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this one time that I’ll probably ever give you any attention on my blog to caution you about being so sure you have a corner on knowing who God is and how He works. I read somewhere that you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when He hates all the same people you do. I certainly have never claimed to know everything there is to know about God. In fact, the longer I know Him, the more I realize I’ve barely scratched the surface of who He is.  But I know that if you don’t know love, you don’t know God, because God is love and He doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing Him.

I doubt anything I could say would change your mind, but I know God could. Ask Paul. He was convinced he knew who God hated, too. But then he actually met God and he ended up giving the rest of his life for the very people he’d help to kill years before.  It’s all in the Bible. Book of Acts.

I really don’t know what else to say to you, so I think I’ll close with this prayer. These aren’t my words. As a matter of fact, they’re Paul’s. But they are my hope for you.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Amen.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “A Thank You Letter

  1. carpoolqueen

    You are more gracious than I would have been. Maybe I need to re-read and take a few of those words to heart.

    • whimzie

      Getting to this post was a two step process for me. The first was seeing those pictures. They just took my breath away and I was so taken with how people banded together to make something absolutely beautiful out of what could have been ugly.

      The second was a remark one of the family’s friends made when someone wondered what the people we were honoring would have done if they had known these people were coming to their service. The friend said, “Knowing them, they would have probably brought them water and tried to make them comfortable.” That kind of stopped me where I sat, too.

      In the end, all that group wanted was the publicity and they got that.

  2. I knew that would happen. First reaction was intense anger upon hearing they were coming, but grace will out.

    Great post.

    • whimzie

      Thanks, David! I keep hoping our paths will cross! Tim had told me he had a pastor friend in the area. Nice to kind of “meet you” this way.

  3. Don Cann

    Thank YOU … and God Bless you!

  4. Jeremy Smith

    Just read through your blog and I’m replying on this thread just because it’s the newest. Very well done! Interesting, short, and engaging posts and thoughts. I really love this thought in this post, “But I know that if you don’t know love, you don’t know God, because God is love and He doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing Him.” In fact, I almost put something exactly like it in the press release I wrote from our church in response to this church your talking about.

    Well done blog! Thank you

    • whimzie

      No, thank you, Jeremy! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Kelly and I enjoy your weekly ” blog posts” that you deliver as sermons. It feels to us more like we’re hanging out at the table after dinner talking about God. We honestly love hearing all the pastors speak, but—and don’t tell on us and sell us out–you’re kind of our favorite.

  5. Jennifer Patton

    I’m reading your blog posts that I’ve missed for a bit…and happened to pick this one for commenting back…if it will indeed let me.?:|
    I LOVED having the privilege of getting to visit with you & your littles not so long ago:) Over & over, I’ve replayed our conversations. Luke & Will have done the same with those from their very first slumber-party/camp-out.
    Thank you for just being YOU! I look forward to your blogging & am going to try & join you in this fun adventure-ministry…if permitted, as already stated previously. Love you much! Have a blessed & joyful everyday!

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