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 …

Hi Trey!

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!!

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
14 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Greg says:

    I wish I had stronger words than “WOW” or “AWESOME” (greatly overused, but fits here)! Thank you so much for sharing this story and thank God for the Monroe’s and Willie’s in this world and for a church family like that. Sure made my day to read this and to be more intentional about welcoming anyone into my life as a guest from God.

  2. DJG says:

    Trey, thank you, that pretty much sums up that discussion. I long to have such a pure heart.

  3. lisa says:

    So beautiful. Thank you, whoever you are, for sharing that story with us. That IS exactly what we should bring with us to worship, a pure heart. Even more than that, I hope and pray we are all part of congregations that open their arms to people like Monroe.

  4. Roadtripray says:

    Man, what a story! It brings back memories I had tucked away about a young man who was mildly mentally handicapped. He was about 28 but by my own estimation he was probably had progressed mentally to the level of an average 10 year-old.

    He usually smelled bad, and he would annoy some Sunday school class members in the adult singles class with his mere presence. One day he joined some of us at a restaurant after church for lunch. He had no money, and some were annoyed that he apparently presumed someone would pick up the tab. I won’t go into what was said, but someone piped up and said “He’s my friend, so I’m glad to pick up the tab.” This ended a very tense moment where the poor guy was very embarrassed at the fact that he was in this predicament. Then the rest of the party then pitched in to help pay for his lunch, too, because he was a friend.

    This was a beautiful moment not only for this young man who probably didn’t have too many people declaring to be friends with him, but also for the people who grew spiritually that Sunday afternoon.

    Thanks for sparking that memory.

    God Bless,

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow Trey. That’s an amazing story! Thank you so much for posting! And to your friend, thank you for taking the time to share. So often, we get so tied up in the outward and the uniformity that is so often demanded, that we never take the time to remember what is important. Thank you for the reminder, and in such a perfect time of the year too!

    M of the S

  6. That Girl says:

    I can’t wait to meet Monroe!

  7. Brie says:

    Monroe was a big, big man, but he had a big, big heart to go along with it.

    We were lucky enough to be part of his church family, and the Sunday after his funeral was one of the hardest Sundays I’ve ever gone through. There was the parking lot- without Monroe sitting there in his truck, music blaring because he was hard of hearing. I walked through the door, and there was Monroe’s bench-but no Monroe.

    I have never met a man with a more pure and childlike faith. The kids at church FLOCKED around him. They were like little moons orbiting a planet. They loved him, and he loved them.

    He trusted that God would take care of him, and sometimes use us. One year, someone at church got him a stove to put in his house. He came to church the next Sunday ecstatic because he had been able to have hot biscuits and gravy. He told everyone who walked through the doors that he’d had the best biscuits and gravy ever. It was so cool to watch him be so excited over something that most of us take for granted.

    He was a giant. Not perfect, by any means, but so willing to admit that he wasn’t perfect and that he needed God that he is, and always will be, one of my heroes.

  8. Monalea says:

    Excellent, excellent I can’t think of anything better to wear than “a pure heart”

    Monalea (have been and always will be) www

  9. Anonymous says:

    that’s cool

    part of our problem is that we are too egalitarian. we like the tithe because it’s “fair”, when God doesn’t actually expect the same from everyone.

    i think it is sad for people who have and wear nice clothes on some occasions to not do it for God.
    and it is equally sad for those who have nice clothes to make people who don’t feel bad or different.

    a pure heart is necessary for those who wear a suit and tie as well.


  10. lightening says:

    That brought a tear to my eye. What an awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing it. :-)

  11. TREY MORGAN says:

    Brie – Thanks for adding your part to the story…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Trey; you were right. This was an amazing story. If only everyone could hear this, and follow it themselves. I’m really glad you told me to go and read this; a pure heart; its the last thing anyone thinks of. I absoultly loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  13. mmlace says:

    Trey, thank you so much for sharing this.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dressing like a vagabond will get u seated in the back of the church and not even noticed the way that they notice the so called decent folk. Your story of the Monroe is the way I believe church going should be ….until I find that church that believes it the same way ….I hold on to this.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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