Monday, September 7, 2009

White People, Green Room, and Heaven

*written in general terms to protect parties involved.

I grew up in a narrow minded environment. Once, my ‘circle’ was asked how I was different from the rest, and the answer was “Shelly’s not prejudice; she sees all people as equal.” When I became an adult, I brought a friend from college home and was lectured sternly. My friend wasn’t Caucasian. I was told to stay with my own kind… even in friendships. One day, I boldly stated heaven is not going to be all white people. I was informed when they get to heaven, they will tell St. Peter to take them to the all white section…. My response? What if St. Peter isn’t white?

Needless to say, my ‘circle’ is far from pleased with my lifestyle.

Now I find myself in a different ‘family’… my church family. Several years ago, I gave part of my testimony to Northland’s congregation of approximately 12,000 people. Since I don’t do good interacting one on one with strangers, I hung out with the Worship Team the whole weekend. They instantly took me in as ‘family’ and has been loving me ever since.

Looking around the Green Room, I am soooo out of place! I couldn’t be more mismatched. My pastor is internationally known, even called regularly by President Obama for prayers and counsel. He is probably one of the top 3 influential pastors in America. Then there’s half of Avalon, the Christian Contemporary band, who call Northland their church home. The team has sung/played with such talents as Disney, Phil Collins (including going on tour as his back up singer), Hank Williams, Jr. and many other entertainment venues. Let me just say that some influential people – preaching, singing, playing, etc – hang out back stage. Yet you would never know it by being a fly on the wall. Not one of them acts better than the other… they all share a common desire and purpose – to live for Jesus. Maybe that’s why against all odds, I feel welcomed in their circle.

And maybe that is what will make heaven so glorious… every tongue, tribe, nation, disability, ability, etc. will feel welcomed, all sharing the running thread of being children of God.

6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. – Rev. 14

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