It only takes one.

It only takes one person to make a difference.

I know this.

Because in my world, that one person is Alice.

Alice is the one person who said, “I will never leave you.”

And she hasn’t.

She calls. She texts. She invites. We’ve gone to church together. We’ve gone out for coffee. We’ve spent a day together at a music festival. Last night, we went out to dinner together, we and our husbands. We have plans to be together again soon.

She knows me.  She knows my story.

She knew about it before.  We were friends before.

More than friends.  Christians.

She knows me as more than the story that I have to tell. She knows me better than most.  And even if she didn’t, for Alice, it’s not so much about who I am or what I have done, or what’s been done to me.

It’s about who she is.

Alice is kind.  And funny.  And practical.  And welcoming.  And unconditional.  Alice is Jesus with skin on.

So when my husband got the email telling us that we were to leave the church and I texted her, she called.

“I’m going to lose all my friends at church,” I said.

“No, you won’t,” she replied. And she meant it. And she’s proving it.

With every text, phone call, invitation.

Last night, as we sat in a restaurant in a tiny town many miles south of the church talking about our childhoods (her husband and I were next door neighbors as children), hunting, vacations, our children and grandchildren, I realized that, at least for now, I need to protect the rest of my story.

For Alice.

Because it’s her church, too.

Like me, it’s a place that she has grown to love Jesus deeply, learned to be more generous, developed an ear for what God is saying  to her personally.

This is the church where she listened to the pastor preach about the woman caught in adultery on Christmas Eve – four days after we were told to leave – and had great hope that God was teaching him something about the stones that they were hurling at me.

She still has that hope.  With every sermon she hears.  Every message of grace.  She hopes.

While the rest of us take sides and dig in our heels and pound our fists and cast our stones, Alice hopes. Alice has faith.  And Alice loves.  Without condition.

Alice loves me.  And the pastors who chose to toss me aside. And the church where we met and became friends.

So, because of Alice, for now, I must continue to protect the part of my story that tells how deeply wounded I was in our church.

Love covers a multitude of sins . . .

Thank you, Alice, for loving me.

  1. Scarlett says:

    Thank God for the Alice in your life…..and for all the Alices in the lives of others, who stand with them as Jonathan did with David in the heat of spiritual battle.

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