I can sometimes feel an almost palpable disappointment in and bewilderment with people like me from the conservative evangelical generation of my parents.
I sometimes feel that you look at people like me and wonder “how did this happen? Where did we go wrong?”
You ask how we can have become so “liberal” and how we can sustain faith on such a “slippery slope”. You seem to believe we do not take the Bible seriously and that we have simply caved to culture.
You prayed for us.
You prayed we would have a heart for the lost.
You prayed that we would be world changers.
You prayed we would mend our nation.
You prayed we would preach.
You prayed we would prophesy.
You prayed we would take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
You prayed we would love Jesus.
But what if we became the people you prayed for us to become?
What if your prayers have been answered, but you don’t see it like that because we look so different than you thought we would.
What if we have a heart for “the lost”… and that manifests in our pursuit of hospitality for them?
What if we are world changers, but the change isn’t what you were expecting?
What if we are mending our nation… by being good neighbors and working for reconciliation between groups?
What if we are preaching, but it’s not the same words you used?
What if we do prophesy, but we are prophesying against the greed and bigotry and hypocrisy in our own land and communities?
What if we are taking the gospel to the ends of the earth and circling the world we come back home to take the gospel to the church?
And what if we do love Jesus… and our commitment to Him is the reason we read the Bible in some seemly peculiar ways.
And what if we are deeply imperfect in living out our call?
What if you were imperfect in living out your call?
And I ask myself, what do I pray for my children that I one day might miss when those prayers are being answered?
In what way will they topple my expectations about what the church should look like and think like and act like?
Just as your generation brought needed reforms to the church and your parents generation looked at you with skepticism, so you may look at us.
Imperfect as we all are, we must look through eyes of grace.
Loved as we all are, we must refuse to look through eyes of fear.
And in the end, what if I’m just a fool? What if we all are?
Whether we are fools or wise, what more can we do then entrust ourselves to the completely perfect love of Jesus. This is where we stand in peace, together.