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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Best greeting ever



Ben and I shared a meal with Raph and Megan last weekend.
 
We chatted about our church's stewardship team and our hearts for it. 
 
The conversation got me thinking about one of the best greetings I've ever received...the first time I met Lydia Power...

Ben and I had just trekked across "the pond"... drove from Ottawa to Montreal then by plane from Montreal to London then by coach bus from London to Cardiff, Wales. To live for ten months. An adventure... not quite sure what to expect.

We arrived at Cardiff's downtown bus station. We had been awake for about 30 hours. I'm sure we weren't hard to spot with our run-down, extra large suitcases, our scruffy clothes and sleepy eyes.  
 
As we stood there, looking around, from across the station, we noticed someone running... galloping, really... towards us. And she was so happy to see us, even though we hadn't met her before. I think she must have jumped over a bench... pushed the crowd aside... she was just so excited to be there. And when she got to us she gave us great big hugs... super strong squeezed-tight embraces.
 
And that was Lydia. Full-attention, poured-out, life-giving Lydia. Before she said a word she showed us we were welcome in that city and in their church community. We were treasured. And that grand welcome set the tone for our whole year. We were part of the community, we, in turn, felt we could welcome others in the same way. We could be excited about what was next because we felt we belonged there and we were in the right place.

I think that's God's heart for our simple hello's, for our greetings and welcomes, whether on a Sunday morning or any other time... To set an atmosphere for people to meet God, to serve, to gather in, to confirm belonging and community...

I think lives can be changed in a simple hello and welcome and come on in.

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