The Church of Your Dreams

The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and try to realize it. But God's grace speedily shatters such dreams.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Each member of the board was a friend. Confident they would understand, I planned to tell them the truth. As their pastor I had listened to their pain in time of need; I knew they would listen to me in mine. After the business part of my pastor's report, I shared my situation.

"I'm really tired," I began. "The doctor says I have pneumonia. My load here is hardly bearable at times."

I went on about my problems. One board member began fidgeting. His face reddened and wrinkled. He held his thoughts as long as he could (which wasn't very long).

"We're all tired," he said. "We're all stretched to the limit. Your job is no more difficult than ours … "

His comments, which began civilly, degenerated into acid.

"I'm offended," he continued, ...

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From Issue:Winter 1996: Expectations
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