James H Aughey

The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in.  It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.

Bob Goff

One of the things I’ve learned following Jesus is how much He enjoyed being with people. Except for time with His Father, there seemed to be nothing He loved more. He didn’t just love the idea of being with people either, He actually loved being with them. A lot of people in the world stop being available at some point. It’s subtle, because it happens a little at a time and it’s not malicious or anything—it happens though. But Jesus wasn’t that way. He seemed to have more time for people as time went on, not less. That’s one of the things which makes love so powerful; it leaves us a way to find it.

Philip Yancey

In his social contacts, Jesus went out of his way to embrace the unloved and unworthy, the folks who matter little to the rest of society but matter infinitely to God. People with leprosy quarantined outside the city wall, Jesus touched, even as his disciples shrank back in disgust. A ‘half-breed’ woman who had gone through five husbands already and was no doubt the center of the town’s gossip industry, Jesus tapped as his first missionary. Another woman, too full of shame over her embarrassing condition to approach Jesus face to face, grabbed his robe, hoping he would not notice. He did notice. She learned, like so many other ‘nobodies,’ that you can’t easily escape Jesus’ gaze. We matter too much.

Francis Frangipane

There’s something like radar inside the human heart that senses the displeasure of others. Displeasure and ingratitude are like a repellant to human relationships. People think, “If I can’t measure up, if you can’t see anything good in me, I’ll go where people will accept me as I am.” Thanksgiving brings our loved ones closer to us rather than driving them away.

Kelly Flanagan

Community is love you can see and smell and touch… Community is the invitation to be a mess when you need to be. Community is the joyful embrace of your complicated story. Community is the e-mail or phone call or text message that says, “I’m thinking about you, even when you are away.” And community is the grace-filled invitation to always return to a place, no matter how wrecked you might be. And if community is grace-with-a-heartbeat… the biggest barrier to community will be you. Because in order to receive the grace of authentic community, we will have to believe we are worthy of receiving it.

Mike Hoskins

A tongue filled with laughter and praise is a reflection of a heart filled to overflowing with the joy of the Lord. What a joy it is just to be with someone whose heart is full. A soothing tongue, a tongue that can say “I accept you where you are,” or “I appreciate your questions” without offence or bitterness, is a secure place someone can go for help without fear of judgment, condemnation or censure.