by Warren Heckman.

Have you ever, in a weak moment, looked out at your church and thought it may have slightly resembled Noah’s ark? After all, you’ve been just floating along day after day, week after week, month after month with an odd array of creatures. After some time, your mind begins to wander…did one of those critters ever approach Noah and complain about the giraffe sticking its long neck (and nose) into everybody else’s business? Or did the hummingbirds ever file a complaint about the stench coming from the pair of skunks living beside them? Did some of the smaller animals get nervous, wondering if the lion was licking his lips when they walked by? Did even some of the bigger animals and want assurance that they would be okay sleeping with a boa constrictor on board?

I can imagine Shem saying to his dad, “I’m sick of this place–all of the smells, terrible sounds, and small confinement.” Or “I want to leave this stinking ship.” Suppose Noah had listened and said, “Okay, son,” and then opened the door. Instantly, they would have faced the shock of turbulent clouds, horrible winds and huge waves with no land in sight. Shem would have done some back-peddling and said, “On second thought, I guess I’ll stay aboard. It’s not so bad after all.”

There’s an old saying, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” That includes your spiritual family. As the celebrated poet Robert Frost said, “A family is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

Families, churches and even groups such as FCA have a mixture of personalities, beliefs, and varying characteristics. The 68th Psalm has this insight in verse 6: “God sets the lonely in families” (NIV). Or as the NAS renders it, “God makes a home for the lonely.” Truthfully, we need each other far more than we realize, and of course God knew that all along. We need the strange members, those who are difficult to get along with, the weak, the impoverished, the feeble. Each person helps complete us in Christ.

In a larger community of believers such as FCA, we need each other with all of our unique personalities, doctrinal quirks, spiritual gifts, age differences, irritating ideas, and multiple emphases. I need you–and believe it or not, you need me.

So welcome to the FCA family. I’m so glad you’re a part of it. Who is that over there, you ask? Why, that’s my odd uncle.

Warren Heckman is the U.S. National Coordinator for Fellowship of Christian Assemblies.



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