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A Church that Welcomes All

After a very thought provoking sermon on Sunday, I wrote this illustration for my pastor.

__________________

I was a gymnast for many years.

I wasn’t very motivated about the balance beam because it demanded a special kind of refinement and focus I didn’t possess. I enjoyed the uneven bars and floor exercise because I could tumble, swing and dance but I often felt confined. I LOVED vaulting because this was the place I felt most myself — running quickly, pushing off that horse, flying in the air and sticking the landing.

For much of my vaulting career, I landed on dense gym mats and despite trained spotters, I certainly experienced my share of ankle injuries when I landed. Then came the time when I was buckled into a harness and began practising my vaulting tricks on a trampoline. I twisted and somersaulted with more confidence, knowing the landing would be much softer on the trampoline bed. However, because I was dependent on other people working the harness pullies properly, I still felt some dread as I threw new moves. Consequently,I ended up in a full leg cast for four months when the spotter made the wrong decision and I ricocheted off the trampoline bed in a big way.

It took a long time to heal from that accident.

Finally came the day when a creative and bold person came up with the brilliant idea of filling a huge hole in the floor with big, fat foam pieces. I remember the first time I took the risk, ran across the floor, bounced off the beat board, pushed off the horse — and landed amongst forgiving foam pieces. No confinement. No hard mats. No harnesses. No unpredictable trampoline beds.

Only gentleness.

This changed everything in the gym.

“The Pit” was the place to be. It wasn’t long before many of the other apparatus were also moved over the foam pieces. No matter what trick we tried, no matter how strange we looked, no matter how much we stumbled, we were secure in the soft landing. We didn’t depend on other people’s perspectives and decisions, We felt free, we had fun and we learned what we needed to learn.

It was all about the landing.

Thank you so much for making this church a safe landing for me.

My prayer is that anyone and everyone who walks through our doors will feel that this home is a soft landing. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit.

Because it really is all about the landing.

Feeling blessed,

Diane

6 Comments

  1. Beautiful, Diane. Your pastor must have been so pleased to receive it.

    • Diane (Author)

      Thanks so much, Cynthia. Just ordered your second book. Looking forward to reading it! What a wonderful accomplishment about a beautiful life!

  2. Jessie Burgess

    Well said Diane….we all need a soft place to land, where we can feel comfort and peace in our hectic life. xo ‘Mrs. B.’

    • Diane (Author)

      Absolutely. It’s wonderful to be able to say this about my church!

  3. Kathy

    Beautifully said, Diane!!
    We all need a place in which we can have a soft and safe landing. So glad you have yours!!!

    • Diane (Author)

      Thanks, Kathy. Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to say, “I belong.”

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