I got an email yesterday from a friend and regular blog reader about our discussion on how we should be “dressing for church.” She had an idea about what she wants to wear to church. Her story touched my heart so I asked her if I could share her story. She said yes. I hope it touches your heart too. Enjoy …
I loved your post on dressing up for church. I have the perfect story but it is so long I did not want to post it in the comments. So I hope you will enjoy my story about Monroe.
Monroe was a part of our church family for about 5 years. I never saw Monroe in anything but overalls and a T-shirt. Most of us cannot imagine living the way Monroe lived. He had a house, if you want to call it that. A strong wind would have blown it over. There was not a way to keep the wind from blowing through it in the winter and the floor was rotting out all through the house. Needless to say Monroe did not always look acceptable to many of the “good” church going folks. He didn’t sound acceptable either. He had a Cajun accent and a very pronounced speech impediment. It took me a year before I really felt I could understand what he was saying to me.
Monroe and his brother, Willie, had been turned away from many churches. They were usually willing to give them food or help pay a bill but most congregations did not want to fellowship with them. Many had openly made fun of them and some had asked them not to worship with them.
Our church family came in contact with Monroe through one of our members who happened to be Monroe’s physician assistant. She saw a need, but more than that she saw Monroe’s heart. She convinced Monroe to come to church with her. He was very unsure because he had been rejected so many times before. She finally convinced him to join her. Monroe soon became a huge part of our church family. We took him in because we thought we were helping him. Boy, were we wrong. God showed us what it meant to have a pure heart. Monroe simply loved Jesus. Because he loved Jesus, he loved all of us. He was baptized in our church at the age of 70. You have never heard so much clapping. There was not one person in our church family that was not touched by Monroe. He was so transparent. He was very honest about his past. (I heard stories I intentionally chose not to understand all of because they were pretty shocking). He was never shy about talking about his past and he was always ready to praise God for his salvation. He was just real. He had nothing to give from a financial standpoint. But he gave everything he had in the form of love.
Sadly, early this year Monroe’s brother Willie passed away. Monroe was not in the best of health himself and a couple of months later he also died. We have had a huge hole in our church family ever since. I am so thankful to have been given the privilege of knowing Monroe. He made me look outside myself more times than I can count. God blessed me, my family and my church family in ways we cannot measure when He chose to send Monroe to us.
So, if you ask me what you should wear church. I have the perfect answer… a pure heart. I know this because I witnessed it and I know what I am supposed to be striving for. Thanks for always making me think!!