July 22, 2014

The Real vs. The Imitation

It shouldn't, but it always surprises me when I taste something real after I have had the imitation for a while.

I won't lie. I have gone to McDonald's and had their coffee drinks. They aren't bad. The cold ones are sort of like a milk shake... a milk shake with coffee-flavor added. I've had a few of these, but then:

A few minutes ago I ordered a small vanilla latte from Mad Goat Coffee. The picture I have posted here is after I have had my first sip. It is sublime. (Is that a good word to describe it? I am not sure.) It is blissful. It is tasty. It is coffee... not coffee-flavor added. It is the real stuff.

I am almost done sipping through it already. I am tempted to take another picture, just simply because it is almost gone... oh... I might as well... hang on...

There it is. Mostly finished... OH, and you can see my partially finished post while you are at it.

The enjoyment of this coffee left me thinking about the clear difference between the real and the imitation. As I mentioned, I don't mind that McCoffee stuff, but there is a clear difference when you taste the real thing. I know there have been times that I have grabbed one of those fast food blended drinks and thought, "This isn't that bad." But now I am sitting here wondering how I ever thought that there was a true comparison.

I don't want to make a stretch of illustration here, but this is true of churches as well. There are some great churches out there: The music team is amazing. The preaching is inspiring. The fellowship is uplifting... and so on.  But then you walk into something real, and you suddenly think, "How did I think the other thing was the real thing?"

It the book, Love into Light, the author is talking about how churches could benefit from having people who struggle with same sex attraction as a part of the community.  He goes on to say:
I fear that many Christians view their brothers and sisters who battle with SSA (Same Sex Attraction) as a threat to the community. Therefore, many SSA strugglers are phobic about homophobia. They agonize alone, for fear of rejection. However, the community needs their transparency - and they need the community. God surprises us with unexpected insights when the unspeakable is spoken. Our serene picture of community is shattered; the reality is more earthy, disappointing, and fruitful.
I love that: "... the reality is more earthy, disappointing, and fruitful." Almost sounds like a cup of coffee, doesn't it?

I hope that Edgewood Church has the great privelege of joining in community with those who struggle with SSA. I pray that God guides them to Edgewood. What can I say, I like the real stuff better.