Here's a brief diversion to brighten your day.
Our son Tyler was watching a hockey game on TV several weeks ago when he saw the Cialis commercial where the couple arrives during the final number in the opera and gets to their seats seconds before the standing ovation. At that point the voiceover begins to say "Cialis". Ask your doctor if it's right for you." After playing 4 or 5 times, Tyler finally bursts out and says "What's Cialis? And why should I ask my doctor about it when I don't even know what it is?" (I've been dared to take him to the doctor and let him ask but haven't decided if that's a good idea yet...)
It's a fun story that speaks to the whole matter of saying one thing and having others not understand you. I think that's particularly true in terms of the church and the message of Jesus. What's not to love about forgiveness, mercy, grace, hope and another chance? And yet, it's pretty obvious that there's a huge difference between what we're saying and what the world around us hears us saying. Bridging the "message gap" requires more than speaking louder and slower (like we so often do with foreign tourists...) Bridging the gap requires an open heart, open hands and an open mind. It's hard to argue with authenticity, generosity and a willingness to engage people where they are and for who they are.
Gotta go take Tyler to the doctor.... :-)