Dear (insert your name, person who vandalized our church sign last week),
I feel compelled to tell you that our sign, much like our church, was largely unaffected by your decision to take our sign from its proper location, throw it in the street, and run over it with your vehicle. As you can see, the sign still stands. Oh sure, it has a pretty big dent in the middle, the chains on the side snapped, and the hinges don’t open and shut quite as well as they did at first. But the sign still stands. More importantly, the message of the sign is still the same.
You are welcome to hang out with us. That hasn’t changed.
You could say you “dented” us a little, too. Now, we’re not angry at you or anything. We’re just sad. And we’re a little confused about why you’d vandalize a sign for a church that is already doing some good work in the community. We’re helping folks who are struggling financially, who have suffered rejection, who are healing from painful tragedies, and who need the hope that comes from knowing God better. Why would you attack that? We could understand if you were attacking a sign of hate. But this is a sign of love, of hope, of peace, of faith. And I think looking at how bad things are all over the world, a sign of love would be a welcome thing.
But you didn’t seem to think so. And in that sense, like our sign, there’s a sort of “dent” in our minds… it’s just not the dent you’d expect. Really, it’s just a question… Why? Now, get this, the only reason why that question matters to us is that… well, believe it or not… you matter to us. Not “in spite of” what you did but “because of” what you did. You matter to us. We’re not exactly sure what motivates someone to do this, but we do know it comes from some kind of brokenness or emptiness. And we would love to see you healed of brokenness and see your emptiness filled. God is healing brokenness in our lives that led us to do things we really regret, things that hurt others, damaged others, even things that “dented” others. And only God can fill our emptiness.
So, if you happen to get a chance to read this, I hope you’ll believe us when we say that you are so welcome to hang out with us. We are Pathmakers Church. And we’d love to show you the kind of grace, forgiveness, and relationship that Jesus Christ showed us, no matter the things we’ve done. We meet at South Ridge Elementary School here in Castle Rock, Colorado at 10:10am for our main gathering. The coffee and snacks are free, the live music is great, the friendships are real, and the God we follow is life-changing. In fact, you don’t even have to tell us that it was you that did it if you don’t want to at first. Maybe someday you’ll get up the courage to say something, but I can tell you that all you’re going to get in response from us is love and forgiveness. It’s how Jesus is with us and the “dents” we’ve made on Him. How could we be any different with you?
We really hope you’ll come hang out with us sometime soon. You are welcome.
In Faith, Hope, and Love,