I had a dream the other night
that all of us showed up to church, and instead of carry-ing Bibles and cute purses and cups of coﬀee-based goodness, everyone had armfuls and armfuls of LAUNDRY. Some dirty, some clean, all jumbled. We dumped our loads onto the chairs and into the aisles, and there were socks littering the ﬂoor and undershirts draped across the pristine backs of chairs. The lights were not dim or meditative; everything was bright and visible and stark, and everyone was looking around, picking through the piles like bag ladies or tornado victims. The problem was that everybody’s laundry was all mixed together with everyone else’s, so my missing red sock could be at the bottom of the cotton mountain up in the balcony; your favorite shirt could be over behind the tech booth where some dude named Carl might discover it. It was an impossible intertwining. We wanted nothing more than to get our stuﬀ back — all our holey underwear and embarrassing cut-oﬀs and college sweatshirts. We were so exposed, so spread out, so
. It’s a helpless feeling to have intimate parts of yourself turned out into the world for oth-ers to touch and feel and fold. We have this innate sense that what belongs to me — all my unique and awkward and wrinkled parts — is my domain alone and no one else’s. And that at church, especially, I should be able to show up with freshly pressed pants and a buttoned-up shirt and a well tailored smile stitched across my face. If you can’t get yourself together for CHURCH, then you really are hopeless, right? Desperate situations should be left at the door with the muddy ﬂip-ﬂops. But there’s a woman in Luke who was forced to abandon pretense in a big would-be church crowd. She wasn’t bold as much as she was desperate; it was out of this desperation that she brought her impossible situation right to Jesus in what turned out to be a very public undressing.Verse deftly sums up her long-term illness with the simplicity of: “She could not be healed by anyone.” Jesus, the famed miracle-worker, was her last chance. But she tried to hide. At ﬁrst.“She came up behind [Jesus] and touched the fringe of his garment.” Just a touch. Maybe just a touch would be enough.Crowds and crowds of people were pressed up against him at the time, but suddenly he felt HER. “Who touched me?” Jesus asks. Peter, or Captain Obvious, as biblical scholars like to call him, replies, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” I love what happens next: “And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before [Jesus] declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.”What exposure. What a complete unpacking. But she was pressed into it; Jesus forced the issue publicly. Didn’t he know, in all his God-man power, who it was that had touched him? Couldn’t he have let the healing transpire discreetly? Why did he challenge her to own her story in the bright open air?The woman realized there was nowhere to hide. Were Jesus’ eyes boring into hers, challeng-ing her with gentle insistence? Did her own amazement at her sudden healing override her embarrassment? Whatever it was, the next thing we see is her throwing caution to the wind, “DECLARING in the presence of ALL the people WHY she had touched Jesus and HOW he had healed her” (emphasis added).Pretty bold. And quite a turnaround. She went from discreet inquirer to bold witness. And not just a witness to the struggle of sickness, but to the victory of healing — both the clean AND dirty laundry, all mixed together. For some reason, Jesus thought that was important.If it’s hard for you to be real at church or in your small group or in a classroom of kiddos on Sunday or with non-Jesus-y kinds of people at work, just remember that you have a contri-bution to make to the larger redemptive narrative in this world. That your story, your dirty socks and cashmere sweaters alike, don’t belong to you alone. That to be a story-less person is not to be a person at all. We are impossibly intertwined, and that is by design. That even as you reach out for the healing garment of Jesus, you can share your own multi-colored journey with a world that needs to see a new iteration of redemption. Please don’t hold that back from the rest of us. Please bring your laundry out into the world. Especially to church.
a letter from
Why are we here?
IBC is on a journey committed to life transformation through Jesus Christ. We engage this journey by growing in Christ, connecting in community, and joining the mission.This commitment comes from Jesus’ words in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-39) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Thanks for picking up
is a publication of Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas.
Art Direction, Design & Goodness
Josh Wiese, Lindsey Sobolik, JD Lemming
Our Very Tall Boss
Charles Stafford (
)* Evan Chavez (
* Brent McKinney (The End of
)* Megan Foreman (Chatter
) Shannon Miller (
Summer Alexander*, Annie Stone*
Thoughts, comments, ideas?
Need Chatter Digitally?
is on the web at irvingbible.org/chatter.
Most beloved and indispensable
Irving Bible Church: a community on a journey.
Irving Bible Church | 2435 Kinwest Pkwy, Irving, TX 75063 | (972) 560-4600
Sign up for the IBC eLetter,
a weekly email update for key ministry event informa-tion and announcements, along with a short devotional by Pastor Andy to encourage you on your journey week-to-week. Subscribe today at irvingbible.org/eletter.
New to IBC?
Turn to page 18.
How do we do this?
Growing in Christ
At the heart of the journey is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the story of the Son of God coming into our dark world to bring light, life, hope and transformation. The journey begins when we trust Christ, but it doesn’t end there. God’s desire for each of us is for our hearts and lives to become more like the one who has saved us (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Connecting in Community
The gospel story draws us into a community of people whose lives have been trans-formed by Jesus. This journey is not one that we undertake alone. We are designed to do life together as a community of Christ-followers. It is essential that we walk with one another on the journey (John 13:34-35).
Joining the Mission
The gospel tells us that one day God will take all that is broken in this world and make it whole. Those of us who are on the journey together are called to be people who do what we can to make glimpses of that day show up in our day. We do this by telling the gospel story and demonstrating gospel-shaped love to a needy world (Matthew 28:18-20).