This morning at potluck between Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Worship for Business I did my usual thing and took a seat at an empty table and waited for folks to come to me. I can never make the decision of who to sit with.
A gentleman soon approached and asked if he could sit there, and the table soon filled. He introduced himself as a retired pastor. I asked what denomination and he replied that it was a very small evangelical church. Now, I had just the evening before began reading If God is Love rediscovering grace in an ungracious world by Phillip Gulley (a Quaker pastor) and James Mulholland (a theologian). I decided to be brave and ask the retired pastor if he was on the side of grace or if he believed in the requirement of works. We had a very lively discussion and it ended with him asking me to write down the book so that he could read it. He was wearing a hearing aid and mentioned that he had only 20 percent hearing left and he liked our form of worship as it relieved him of much of the anxiety of trying to hear. Another man at our table serendipitously just happened to be a sign language interpreter for the courts and began telling him about requesting in time closed captioning when he attended public events. He described in detail how to request this ahead of time and how it was covered under the Americans with Disabilities law. I said to the pastor that I didn't believe in co-incidence either and he replied "it is called Grace" and he said he awoke every morning looking ahead to what the day would bring to him. This day brought him several good things already. I stand on the side of Grace.