I want to tell you about two young ladies called Lucy and Katie.
Lucy and Katie both hold similar jobs but work in different banks.
The other day I was with a friend and colleague from the USA who was here making arrangements to move with his family to my city. We had spent the day arranging schools for his children, finding a house to rent, sorting out driving licences etc.
The one thing left to be done was for my friend to open a bank account.
It was late in the day and we were not sure if the banks would still be open but we drove into the city centre to at least try to get something done.
As we pulled up to park, I suggested to by friend that he jump out and run ahead to see if the bank was open and to start the procedure of opening an account.
I parked and began to follow but saw another bank across the road that was open so I thought I would go and try there.
I entered and was warmly greeted by the 'yes' face of Katie, who immediately hearing of my friends need said, 'Of course we can do that and it will take about 15 minutes to process it'.
I then left that bank and crossed to see how my friend was doing at the other bank.
The doors were locked, it was closed, most of the lights were off. Concerned, I knocked on the door and was finally told that my friend was in the bank being seen by Lucy. Eventually my friend emerged and I eagerly ask him what sort of an account he had managed to get.
He looked at me aghast and said Lucy told him it wasn't possible.
He then explained that he was questioned about previous account and personal history and when he told them that he had not yet got an address in the UK, Lucy said it could not be done.
Lucy said she understood his problem because they had seen many people in his situation making the same request to open an account.
He asked, what had happened to them. Lucy replied, 'I don't know, we never see them again'.
We crossed the road to see Katie and within 15 minutes my friend had a new account with a cheque book and card ordered in the post.
Katie didn't see the obstacle in the same way as Lucy. She saw the need and did everything possible to meet it. She succeeded.
I wonder how many churches are like Lucy, who when people come with problems are met with all the negatives. I wonder how many churches ask, 'Why do we never see them again'.
My freind will be responsible in bringing many people to the UK to work. You don't need to ask which bank he will tell them to go to!
Maybe Lucy and Katie can teach us as church that the difference between a 'yes' and a 'no' face makes an immense difference.
If these banks were churches which one would you go to and which one would you tell your friends about?