God dragged me kicking and screaming to the Catholic Church. And when I got there I was all: Whoa. I've been really, really wrong about "Those Catholics." Because, you know, I had lots of misinformed opinions about "Those Catholics." And I even had lots of Bible verses to back up those misinformed opinions. Worse, I thought I needed to save Those Catholics.
Those Catholics ended up saving me.
Well, not saving me like Jesus saved me (because yes, Catholics believe: Jesus saves!) but saved me like: saved me from all my deep misunderstandings, saved me from all my bone-deep anti-Catholic sentiments, saved me from my wanderings and homesickness.
Catholics brought me Home.
This was only possible because they extended grace, gentleness, meekness and understanding. While lots of Christians I knew only talked about Christian unity, Catholics prayed for it all the time--during church!
Not only that, the priests and nuns I met were so full of humility, joy, simplicity of faith and unabashed reverence for Christ that I was embarrassed by my glaring lack of these Christian virtues. "Those Catholics" were more Christian than many of the "Real Christians" I knew!
I know there are deep doctrinal divides between us Christians. I don't pretend to know how to bridge that divide. But I do know unity is important because it was important to Jesus--the same Jesus we all follow.
So, yes, I will continue to pray for the impossible: I will pray for unity.
Will you? Do you think unity is possible? Yes, I'm concerned about compromising certain beliefs... but can we still work toward reconciliation?
[this post is being linked up with Rachel Held Evans' "Rally To Restore Unity." Join the fun by writing your own post about Christian unity, reading the featured posts and/or spreading the word. I've especially enjoyed seeing all the humorous, handmade signs!]