By Rajmund Dabrowski … A story from our own church courtyard can offer a lesson to ponder.

Many of us remember the pre-Internet era when classifieds were prominent in printed church magazines. They offered fascinating reading. What follows was sent to such monthly magazine I was involved with in the seventies. Emi wrote:

I am ugly, fat, badly built, and an unattractive 30-year-old widow with three children. I am an Adventist, too. I am wondering if women like myself can still have a chance in life. Believe me, I am not interested in receiving letters that only include good advice. Authors of such should not bother. What I am looking for is acceptance, not a slimming diet. Neither am I looking for a guidebook for those who have been knocked about in life. Write to me. EMI.

Whew! Emi revealed much about herself in those few lines. She also painted a picture of her fellow churchgoers. She was looking for love. She was seeking acceptance. She was very candid with us, her readers, about her very low self-esteem. How many of us would admit that we look . . . ugly? And say it so publicly?

Of course, Emi was looking for a husband and a father for her young kids.

But where the problem lies is her statement that she is an Adventist Christian and a member of a faith community. She belongs, we believe, to a caring, accepting group of people! However, she sees it as frozen. Her experience puts the words and deeds of this group at odds with each other.

I am sure her fellow church goers offered to pray for her and even made what they considered as helpful suggestions. She needed more than that. She was looking for something deeper. She was seeking acceptance.

Emi was looking for answers. In her own church. In her own community. Could she find a solution? Will she meet you or me, who can give her a hug of acceptance, saying: This is what I believe, and this is how I believe.

The meaning of all this is: Let’s talk and put a strut to our beliefs.

Will the sermon of your life and mine help Emi find a place in life?

There may be an Emi looking for love in your world, in mine. Let’s begin with giving her a hug.

Rajmund Dabrowski is RMC communication director. Email him at: [email protected]