My landlord, who collects the rent by noon on the first of each month, has a pretty limited understanding of exactly what it is I do. He knows I am usually not home when he comes to get the rent (but can't seem to remember that the rent check is typically right where he can find it), and that I do something that involves the church. I think a lot of the disconnect stems from his being a Romanian Immigrant - there really isn't a Christian Music Business in Romania, so the reality is that my role in support Christian artists is quite foreign to him. Not to mention that he is Catholic and, well - I just don't get a lot of work from the OTHER CCM (Contemporary CATHOLIC Music).
I tell you all of these things because I find it fascinating when he comes to pick up the rent and I am actually home. He and I always try to connect on one of the few fronts we connect upon. Most recently he commented on the fact that I seem to be gone more now that the economy is weak than I was in stronger economic days. I played this off as more the result of my primary client's recording cycle, but he pressed on and made the following astute spiritual observation:
"People, they look to Jesus when things are not going well. The Church always does better when things get rough. The pews are fuller on Sunday. I saw it during Romanian Revolution. But when things get good again, they will forget about Jesus and the Church will struggle - because then everyone will be OK and not need Jesus anymore."
Amen brother. Sad but true.
So the question I have been left to ponder is this: are we missing something as a church if we experience an influx of folks seeking refuge, and in the time that shelter is provided cannot provide enough warmth and love to create a more permanent home for these folks? Where are we not living up to the Church model provided in the New Testament if so many in need can slip through the cracks of our physical and spiritual structures?
I don't have the answer - but I think the converstaion is worth the question.