Thank You, Dear Church Family

Aaron Austin | July 7, 2024

Dear Church Family,

I do not have adequate words to express my gratitude for the grace you showed me on Sunday.  I am truly humbled at your words of affirmation, your hugs, your smiles, and the deep acceptance that I felt.  You have shown me the love of Christ for more than a decade now, and I felt the richness and depth of that love on Sunday.  I will cherish this day in my heart, dear family of faith.  It's my prayer that this same rich and mysterious love will surprise you as you realize anew that you are loved, cherished, and accepted in the heart of God and in this family of faith as well.

Now for a quick digression because I'm tearing up again.  I sometimes think of my brain as a collection of buckets.  Information comes in, and it gets sorted into the appropriate bucket.  Once it's categorized, I know what to do with the information —  like remember what happens when you clean out your oil paints in the kitchen sink.  I often think of how many wonderful insights I missed in college and graduate school because I just didn't have a bucket for the information.  The classics of English literature are sometimes beyond the reaches of our hearts when when they've only been beating for twenty years or so.

I realized I don't have a bucket for what happened on Sunday.  The grace you have shown is beyond me.  And I've decided that I don't want a bucket anymore.  I'm more interested in just letting this mystery of grace blossom and see what happens.  This leaves things unfinished which can be troublesome for anxiety-prone perfectionists like myself, but I'm trying to live in the tension of your grace and what I know of myself.

Sunday has reminded me what matters most is simply presence.  Grace shows up when we're chatting in the hallway or having coffee or telling stories. And somehow my digressions and my faltering words my awkward moments fell into your grace.  Somehow they were translated by love.  So thank you, dear church family for your open hearts and your generous words.  Thank you for the rich blessing you have given me.

From the bottom of my heart,


3 months


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