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The God Who Meets Us Where We Are | Ep. 18

How do we sift through our journey with God when it takes turns we don’t expect and ushers us into places we never wanted to go? And how do we companion one another as we walk through seasons of overwhelming heartache and deep questions? Rosanne Moore and Sheri Glorioso, her best friend from college, trace the ways God has revealed Himself in their lives, often upending expectations and stirring a re-evaluation of assumptions.

The Question that Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey 

The Unselfishness of God by Hannah Whitall Smith 

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[00:00:28] Rosanne Moore: Hello Larger Story audience. I am so grateful for a chance to be with you again today. I’m Rosanne Moore, I’m your host today, and I have a very special guest, my dear friend, Sheri Glorioso. Sheri has been my best friend since Bible college. We met at the dorm on the first day that I arrived, and I knew this lady just brings joy and is so welcoming.

I knew we were going to be friends. I had no idea at that point that she was not just going to be a friend, but she was going to be one of the best companions I’ve ever had in my life. Somebody who’s walked through all of the crazy seasons of my life and just been a rock. I’m so excited that she’s here today.

She is married to Emil, and they are parents of two sons and a daughter, ages 16, 13, and 10, so she’s right in the thick of the early high school, middle school years. So God bless you my dear.

[00:01:32] Sheri Glorioso: And one elementary.

[00:01:35] Rosanne Moore:  Yes. I wanted to have Sheri here to talk about Real Church with me, in part because she and I have both wrestled with, together, what does it look like to be walking with Jesus in community? Even though we don’t live close to each other in very many ways, we’ve provided spiritual community for one another in times where we were struggling to find other places. We’ve had lots of conversations over the years, but what does this look like? What does this whole following Jesus look like when it doesn’t ever look like what we think it’s going to? I have yet to meet somebody who has it figured out and has that work for very long.

[00:02:23] Sheri Glorioso: Right.

[00:02:24] Rosanne Moore: Sheri, welcome. Thank you for being here today.

[00:02:29] Sheri Glorioso: Thank you so much for having me, my best friend from college and my heart.

[00:02:33] Rosanne Moore: She specifically told me, “I can’t tell you how long to go back.”

I’ll just say, that laugh right there got us in a lot of trouble in the dorms a certain number of years ago.

So Sheri, let’s start by you sharing a little bit. You had a before and after experience of coming to faith; you didn’t grow up with a childhood belief in Jesus as much, it was a more coming to Christ. Would you share about that a little bit?

[00:03:21] Sheri Glorioso: Sure. So I always knew God existed. I prayed, but I didn’t know how personal He was. Then the fertilizer hit the ventilator and my work, my family, my debt was all out of control, and I had no idea how to survive.

[00:03:40] Rosanne Moore: You were a young adult, right? 

[00:03:43] Sheri Glorioso: Yeah. A coworker shared with me – she used the word scripture, which made me go woah because it sounded so serious – about how God needs all of our needs; not some, not one, not a few, but all of our needs. As long as I didn’t have to stand up in front of a church and proclaim that, I was good.

That night on my way home, I was like, “Lord, I really need you. I really need you in my life.” I just felt this lightness and freedom start to come, and then my relationship started to heal, and my financial situation started to get better. Then I was like, “I really want to learn more about you, God.”

As I was alone in a filing room, I heard, “Christian College locally.” And so I was like, “wow,” and then I sobbed and then I went to this Christian college, and then that one closed so I had to go to another Christian college, which is where we met. I was only a Christian nine months before going to Bible college.

There were times when people would talk about the Lord and how great He is and use all these wonderful adjectives, and I thought, “Wow, He’s really an egomaniac.”

[00:05:01] Rosanne Moore: The things people think, but don’t say out loud.

[00:05:06] Sheri Glorioso: Yeah. I didn’t until now.

[00:05:07] Rosanne Moore: Right. No, it’s awesome to own that. Yes, go ahead.

[00:05:14] Sheri Glorioso: I was confused about that. I didn’t see how it all connected. Then when I went to South Carolina for college. It was very structured and conservative, and I just embraced everything that I was taught because I had no clue as to what was going on, what’s real and what’s not.

You could have told me the sky was purple and if that made me closer to God, I would look at the sky and see it purple. But it was also a good experience and it was a safe experience of meeting and learning to study the Bible and having amazing professors and all of that.

There were some glitches along the way that they didn’t understand, but I just tucked them away.

[00:06:01] Rosanne Moore: Give an example. When you say glitches, what are the kinds of things that raise question marks?

[00:06:07] Sheri Glorioso: Okay. The dress code was supposed to be modest for men and women, I think, but especially more for women as we were taught that we can cause somebody else to stumble if we’re not properly dressed. I have a lot of thoughts on that.

[00:06:22] Rosanne Moore: The burden of somebody else’s sanctification was suddenly your responsibility.

[00:06:29] Sheri Glorioso: Yeah. Thank you,  I couldn’t find the words for it, but that’s exactly it. 

I was walking to my dorm and I saw a guy in a tank top who was very well built, and I went, whoa. And then I felt, wait a minute, this isn’t right. I’m not supposed to feel this way, but you shouldn’t be in a tank top, so that was confusing. I was going through some old papers and stuff and I even found where I wrote on a paper that, I have to be careful with what I wear because I can cause somebody else to stumble. And I was like, whoa, this is crap. Oh, sorry.

[00:07:02] Rosanne Moore: That’s so okay. This is why I have you on here. Yeah. The whole thing of holiness being external instead of relational and one-sided.

[00:07:20] Sheri Glorioso: There was another situation – I don’t know if you were there when this happened – but we had a dean of women that was there who was lovely and she couldn’t stay because she got divorced. I don’t know why she got divorced. However, one of the professors openly shared during a chapel that he had an STD that he got from seeking outside his marriage, brought it home to his marriage, and he still has a job. That totally freaked me out.

[00:08:01] Rosanne Moore: I wasn’t there for that, but yeah, with that kind of discrepancy, I can imagine. It was probably presented like there was damage control around the situations and you accepted the explanation, right?

[00:08:24] Sheri Glorioso: I did with the dean of women because I had no knowledge myself what was going on. I never saw a divorce as bad, because if my mother didn’t get divorced, I would be a very different person; my father was not a nice person. I don’t know how it was exposed that this professor went astray, but he gave a big preaching moment about how he was throwing things away and blah, blah, blah. And I was just like, what is he talking about? I didn’t have him, which was nice. I remember sitting in the back going, this is really weird. I didn’t connect that until way later – I won’t say how later, but until way later – when I started to see the structure of what I was being taught.

[00:09:14] Rosanne Moore: Yeah. I ended up having to leave school because of my health breaking down, but you and I stayed in touch, and you were one of the few people who did. I was so isolated during that time when I was so sick battling an autoimmune disease, but you stayed.

[00:09:34] Sheri Glorioso: I wasn’t letting go.

[00:09:35] Rosanne Moore: Thank God for that. You came and visited at times, even though you lived many states away. This has always been an issue for us with God, why she has to live so many states away.

[00:09:54] Sheri Glorioso: I know. Move them closer together now.

[00:09:57] Rosanne Moore: One of us, or both of us; that’s one plan we’ve had. Let’s meet in the middle someplace, like in Virginia or something. Oh dear. But, within a few years after I left school you also left and you faced a really difficult situation with your mom’s health. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? 

[00:10:30] Sheri Glorioso: It’s hard to talk about because unless you saw what was going on, it was really weird. My mother was not eating for long periods of time. She felt that she had to fast, like Jesus did for 40 days and 40 nights, but she would go for 80 days and 80 nights; she wouldn’t even swallow her own saliva.

[00:10:53] Rosanne Moore: And she was also battling cancer at the time.

[00:10:56] Sheri Glorioso: We didn’t know that at that point. She was thinking that the reason why she couldn’t eat was because she was going against God, so if she did eat or drink something, she would have tremendous pain. It turns out that the pain was coming from the cancer because she had a tumor the size of a football.

[00:11:18] Rosanne Moore: Oh, wow. What I remember of that time was you were trying to take care of her. Because she was responding to this, what she felt was like a spiritual battle in ways that weren’t, it was hard to know how to support her and help her, and you were dealing with the logistics of caring for a very sick person and trying to hold everything together.

And then the emotional burden of trying to figure out, what kind of help does she need? 

You went from, “I’m going to turn my life over to Jesus because He’s going to take care of all my needs”, to going to Bible college, where this is the list of what good Christians look like and do, and now you’re in the middle of this situation with your mom that is crazy and there’s a lot of spiritual language. How do you make sense of that? Talk to me about in the middle of that, what were you wrestling with in terms of what it meant? Where was God in that? Where was spiritual community helpful in the nitty gritty of the mess of real life? Where was it not?

[00:12:45] Sheri Glorioso: When she was doing the fasting, unless you said what she wanted to hear, she wouldn’t listen to anything you had to say. She was admitted to the hospital and the psychologist was talking to her forever about needing to eat and blah, blah, blah. Her priest came. Friends came. But she was on her quest and she felt like she was on the right path. I didn’t know anything and I just was like, I’ll do whatever you want, just love me. I would bring her to the hospital when she would agree to go.

She was in and out, I think three times, in an eating disorder unit and everything. So it was pretty crazy. The church community really came – my mother became very active in her church – and a lot of people came to help take care of her when she was in the cancer stage. It was almost like cancer was a relief from this.

[00:13:43] Rosanne Moore: It made sense to them.

[00:13:44] Sheri Glorioso: Yeah. I don’t know if she ate three meals a day, but at least she was eating, because I would have meals with her and stuff. That was a bit of a relief. And then instead of going to hospice, people from church who were very close friends of hers came around and did home care for her around the clock; stayed with her throughout the night, stayed during the day when I went to work. They were very generous with their time and their love towards my mom. I was really grateful for that because I couldn’t handle it. I remember my aunt was calling me to come home because it was my shift and I’m like, but I don’t want to. 

[00:14:22] Rosanne Moore: You were in your twenties before she died, you were young. Oh, sorry. Am I supposed to not say that?

[00:14:31] Sheri Glorioso: I’m still young. I have found the fountain of Youth.

[00:14:35] Rosanne Moore: Yes, but your youth then was like, that was a lot for a daughter.

[00:14:43] Sheri Glorioso: For any person.

[00:14:45] Rosanne Moore: Yeah, it would’ve been difficult for anybody, but it was a lot for you to be caring at that life stage, let’s put it that way. 

I know one of the things we were both trying to make sense of was, how do we find God in the middle of this? What’s He doing? We were looking for answers, looking for ways to make sense of it. I know for myself, a lot of what had shaped my view of walking with God was, you figure out what God’s will is, you try to be obedient to it, and He blesses you. He might not bless you with money and worldly things, but certainly He’s going to bless you with meaning and things will have purpose and He’ll provide and you won’t be ground to dust. And we were both in situations that were just overwhelmingly grueling.

Just really difficult. And so what did it mean to trust? How did we make sense of that? What did faith look like? I think I went through a lot of stages. You were talking about the whole “He seems full of Himself.” I remember reading Hannah Whitall Smith, The Unselfishness of God, and thinking, “maybe He’s not as big a jerk as it seems” – because I had those questions too, it’s like, “You demand so much.” – I remember reading that book where she talks about everything that God does, even His call for us to glorify Him. If He is utterly unselfish in His nature, then everything He calls for us to do, even when it involves sacrifice, is ultimately good because He is good, He is unselfish.

At that time, that was very comforting. There would be later seasons where I’m like, are you sure about that? I think whenever I go through dark night seasons, wrestling with the goodness of God is probably something that I may do for the rest of my life.

That’s probably the issue of the struggle of doubt, of questioning, that I have the most in the seasons that have been darkest. That’s the question I wrestle with most. Not, is God powerful, but is He good? I have to come back to the cross again and again as evidence of his goodness.

[00:17:45] Sheri Glorioso: I’ve struggled with the cross for a long time. I’m a Christian walking with the Lord, but felt everybody’s “saved” but me. I just happened to be in the room at the right time. If I had come to Jesus sooner, I wouldn’t have so much pain in my life.

I saw healings going around and I was in the thick of depression and had all this stuff going on. I didn’t know what it was, but I’m like, how come everybody else gets something but me? What am I missing? I went very inward for a long time.

[00:18:16] Rosanne Moore: One of the things I think Larry talks about in Real Church is the danger of coming together in a place where the focus is on right living and behavior modification and not being able to struggle with the kind of things that you’re talking about. 

Everybody has a story, everybody has underlying questions. You’ve been through school spiritual direction; Larry talked there about how we have ways as children before we have a knowledge of God that we wrongly define as life or death. This thing that feels so good, feels like that is the source of life for me, or this painful thing that feels like it has to be avoided at all costs, that is death. Whereas scripture defines life as drawing near to God and knowing God, being close to Him, and death as separating ourselves from Him, stepping back from Him. I wonder what it would’ve been like for either of us during those years of struggle that was so intense to be able to go beneath how you felt about depression and to be able to really name and find the gospel meeting you. The Lord’s done that over time; He’s gone to the core of that. 

[00:19:59] Sheri Glorioso: But a little sooner, just saying,

[00:20:01] Rosanne Moore: I wonder what it would look like as believers if we were more focused on that inner story and finding God in that personal story of where we’re looking for life in the wrong places, like fearing death that’s not really death. It’s painful, it’s traumatic. It can be evil, but it doesn’t have to separate us from God. I wonder what it would’ve been like to have been able to look at that in spiritual community instead of to be wrestling with anxiety or depression and be told, oh, just don’t fear.

[00:20:42] Sheri Glorioso: Yeah. Just give your fear to God and pray it’ll go away. I didn’t get a lot of over-spiritualizing depression, but I struggled with it so much because it affected me so much and it’s very self-focused.

As I’m battling this, I’m not available for my family. I’m just like, leave me alone. I’m having a bad day. And that’s not fair, there is a genetic component to this. There is a spiritual component to this. There’s so many things that were going into it, but now I finally feel like I could be depressed, but still be a mom. You know what I mean? To fight the depression. It’s becoming more common now for people to talk about – I hate the phrase – mental health issues; celebrities and whatever. That’s good, but I don’t know if everybody really has a full understanding of what it means and how it affects people. Because there’s that taboo, “Ooh, ooh, you’re taking whatever, you must not be trusting God,” or, “If you were really a Christian…” that kind of mindset. I didn’t experience that, but maybe I didn’t talk about it. 

With the depression, it was very self-focused, so I don’t think I would’ve been able to be part of a church community to work through the way that Larry talks about: what’s church? I don’t think I would’ve been emotionally available to get there.

I had a lot of work when I first met Larry, I remember. What did he say, I had to take off…? 

[00:22:20] Rosanne Moore: Take off the grave clothes. 

[00:22:24] Sheri Glorioso: The grave clothes, yes. And start living. That was something like bumped me in the right direction – that phrase, at that conference. God’s appeared over the years in different places in my life where I’m like, I know this is God. I never stopped believing.

I just got to the point where there was no fellowship outside of Sunday, and if there was, it was like always a nice and polite conversation, and I’m not really good at nice polite conversation. “So how’s your dog? Are your toenails still bothering you?” That’s not where my brain goes. Tell me your heart and I’ll give you mine.

[00:23:12] Rosanne Moore: You get deeper.

[00:23:13] Sheri Glorioso: Then covid hit and there was no church, and then I started to get more clarity of who Jesus is, but I didn’t have anything to hold onto yet.You know what I mean? I was like, oh, so He’s funny, He has a sense of humor. He’s not this “holier than thou, you will obey me because I saved you.” So that’s what I feel has been missing, the heart of Jesus, because you can go to any church and you can get theology and you can get doctrine, but I need the heart of Jesus.

I really need the heart of Jesus because life is not easy. Stuff has happened to women over whatever, we’ve gotten the short end of the stick because we were told to be a certain way, and that’s not what God is saying for us to do and all of that. I hate that word, but that misogynistic stuff.

[00:24:11] Rosanne Moore: No, I think in the last few years things have come out in the SBC and other denominations; and not just denominations, of course it’s in Hollywood. But then to have it come out again and again, that abuse has been covered up in churches.

I think that has, for me, I’ve really wrestled with the question of, “Okay. I believe in Jesus. I know He hates this evil, but how do I do community with people who don’t seem to hate this evil?” I know you’ve wrestled with that too, how do we respond to this?

How do we respond to things that have been exposed? It’s not just,  they didn’t know how to handle a situation well, but like you said, there’s deep-seated misogyny and I think idolatry of celebrities has also played a role. And it’s not just out there. You knew me during the season I spent 10 years in an organization that had a lot of abuse of people, and so I know some of the ways that I colluded with the organization. I accepted explanations and glossing over and was a part of that to maintain my position in that organization, that community. We conform; scripture gets misused to make us think we’re protecting the church, we’re protecting what God is doing because “He is not big enough to take care of His own church.”

[00:26:08] Sheri Glorioso: How warped is that? He only created the world in seven days.

[00:26:10] Rosanne Moore: It’s so twisted. It’s so warped. The whole idea that He actually gave His son to deal with sin, it was drastic. Sin is evil enough,  drastic enough that it required the cross for our redemption. Yet we think we somehow need to cover this thing up to make things look good. If He was willing to take it that seriously, then we should too.

[00:26:42] Sheri Glorioso: “We might prevent people from coming to Jesus if they know that we sin. We’re not perfect, so we have to present perfect so we can draw in the lost. Because we’re not lost once we’re saved.”

[00:26:56] Rosanne Moore: Yeah, because “Jesus saves perfect people” right? “He doesn’t save sinners.” It’s so messed up. It’s such a distortion. That’s a good point though, because I think a lot of times what gets presented is that we’re saved by grace, but we’re sanctified by effort. One of the things that I loved most about Larry was the whole invitation to be willing to own where I am, not where I wish I was, not where I want to be, but to own where I am and to bring that to God again and say, yeah I still need a savior. Here I am. I still need a savior. To realize it’s almost counterintuitive. Instead of trying harder to be better, to be able to enter that darkness to bring it to Him. Not just enter it and wallow in it, but bring it into His presence, trusting that I’m going to be met with love and delight.

Not over what I may rest in sin over, but He still delights in me and He’s not shaken by my ability to fail. That does not shake Him at all. He’s able to handle it. Looking bad in the presence of love, as Larry talked about, the liberating power of looking bad in the presence of love has released in me the desire to live differently. Not the pressure to live differently, but the actual desire to live differently. It’s been quite a journey. 

[00:28:52] Sheri Glorioso: You’re talking about the red dot that Larry talked about? That’s hard. That looking inward is not easy, but it relieves the pressure valve on something that’s ready to explode. When you’re being that honest and laying it down, even though we might have to do it again and again, you can breathe better. God knows I’m going through this. He knows why I feel this way. He knows how I feel. He’s not going to be shocked.

One of the other trick phrases is, “God allowed it.” Crap happens in life. Sorry, stuff happens in life. Bad things happen to good people, bad people, whatever. I had bad stuff happen. I was abused and I was told that God allowed it.

But then at the same time, I was told He was weeping next to me. So which is it? Was He sad or was He just saying, here, have her? I need to believe that He was weeping. Just because something happens doesn’t mean it’s God’s will in my opinion. I think people get in the way of God’s will and cause an effect that goes onward from the consequences and everything. Does that make sense?

[00:30:11] Rosanne Moore: Yeah. I think if it were His will for people to do evil, then He wouldn’t judge it. He wouldn’t wind up punishing it.

[00:30:24] Sheri Glorioso: Unfortunately you don’t always see the punishment here on earth, right?

[00:30:28] Rosanne Moore: No, but it’s promised that it will come; all things will be brought into the open and judged.

[00:30:34] Sheri Glorioso: We have choices, like the guy who drinks too much and hits another car and there’s people in there and they die. That wasn’t God’s will for that car to be there at that right time. Can He redeem it? Without a doubt. Will He? Absolutely. That doesn’t mean it was His will. That’s a big thing that I struggled with. I needed to get that out there. 

[00:30:53] Rosanne Moore: I agree. I feel this way a lot too. It’s not enough for me to know there’s reasons, all that stuff does not help me. No, I need to know that His heart is even more broken over evil than mine is. That bridges things so that I can trust Him in the midst of things. 

Last winter we did a webinar with Philip Yancy and I mentioned to him that his book, The Question That Never Goes Away, had been really faith saving for me at a really difficult season because he said in there Christianity is the only religion that gives us the language of protest, that other religions try to minimize evil, make it so that we should be able to just be okay and go on.  And he said when Christians do that, they’re not being biblical. The Psalms are the language of protest. It’s God crying. It’s not just the Psalmist crying out against evil, but God Himself crying out against evil and what it does in the world, and promising that judgment and redemption will come.

That’s a good point, Sheri, I’m glad you brought that up, because I think for a lot of victims of abuse, it’s meant well. I’ve done this, I’ve been guilty of this. Sometimes it’s meant well of trying to reassure God’s going to redeem and all of that, but it ends up being minimizing and I think it’s an avoidance of pain rather than being willing to enter the pain.

[00:32:55] Sheri Glorioso: I think people use that language because they can’t do it themselves. Like you said, we all have a story, and we all have an ache in our hearts, and it might not be the same type of situation.

They have to stay in the mindset, I need to believe that this was God’s will in order for me to survive the pain of looking at it and going this really – can I say a bad word? – This really stinks.

It’s just not easy. I mentioned that recently at a Bible study because they were talking about God’s will. This was part of my confusion: somebody would use a scripture verse and say this is God’s will. Then somebody else would take another scripture and say that it’s not. So what’s real? My struggle for a long time has been, who are you? Where’s your heart and who are you? I haven’t given up on my faith, I just can’t take a theology class in church.

You know what I mean? Where’s your heart? I need to know your heart because if I know your heart and I know that you were there, and all those times that I went through my pain with my mother and with the abuse and a whole bunch of other stuff, then I could breathe. But if it’s because it was your will, that kind of makes it like you don’t really like me that much.

Does that make sense?

[00:34:23] Rosanne Moore: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s the will of God that we be holy as He is holy. That pretty much takes out all the crap that we do to one another off the table. What he does redemptively is His will, but that’s Him stepping into our evil. That’s not Him initiating the evil.

[00:34:47] Sheri Glorioso: When I mentioned that to the lady who was leading it, she goes, I think that we, as Christians, should not use that phrase, “He allowed it.” There’s so many horrors in this world, and I don’t think God’s going, “You should suffer this, and you should suffer that,” for any reason.  It’s just that there’s evil in the world that interferes with who God wants us to be. 

[00:35:12] Rosanne Moore: A fallen world is a serious thing. We talk about how we live in a fallen world. That’s just a thing to say, but you’re talking about the intricate, complicated impact of life in a fallen world is that granular brokenness. That’s not just a theological construct; that is a daily agonizing reality in so many ways. 

We are getting close to the end of our time. I want to bring this back to how God met you recently in this whole thing of coming full circle, because we’re going to see what God does going forward.

You were just telling me that He really met you last weekend. I want to give you a chance to talk about that.

[00:36:02] Sheri Glorioso: It was so exciting because I didn’t expect it, but He is the God of the unexpected. For years I was like, love God, love people. That was my theology. I was searching for the heart of Jesus and trying to find a place where I’ll belong that will share that, because there’s a, them versus us with Christianity; you can’t hang out with the sinners – although we’re supposed to because they need to be saved. – There’s, “this person has a certain sin in their life so you can’t be their friend” or, “they’re not worthy of love” and stuff like that.

I was really struggling with that a lot. I was really struggling with what’s true. “Who are you, what is true about you? Are you this stern, blah, blah, blah. Do you have a heart?” Back and forth. And then, for whatever reason, I listened to an Easter service online – which, I hadn’t been to church online or in person since pre-covid.

I just listened, and for the first time, my wall came down and I connected and it felt so good. It just felt so good as she was sharing about the resurrection and who Jesus is and what we have with Him. I was like, wow. So the next week I went to church live and in person, and God used her to cover every issue that was in my heart.

[00:37:35] Rosanne Moore: That’s so cool. 

[00:37:37] Sheri Glorioso: She just gave this incredible sermon. It was so Spirit-filled and it was just so amazing. In my head I’m thinking, what about A, B, C?

And then she said, “Oh yeah, and A, B, C, blah, blah, blah. We all have those moments when the service was meant for you, but every single thing this woman spoke was like, “Sheri, this is for you.”

[00:38:07] Rosanne Moore: She was being led by the Spirit of God in that moment and it’s so evident that He’s speaking through her and to you. That’s awesome.

[00:38:16] Sheri Glorioso: I like the part that I’m saying “her.” Just saying, I didn’t think that would happen. But she’s awesome. She’s amazing. She’s the real deal. She doesn’t worry about forgetting what she’s saying, or losing a thought. She just puts it all out there, and that’s what I need. Not, “this is what we SHOULD do, and this is what the Bible says.”  I mean, we need to listen to the Bible, but don’t give me, uh…

[00:38:45] Rosanne Moore: She’s incarnating it. She’s not just teaching it from her head. She’s incarnating it. 

[00:38:50] Sheri Glorioso: That’s a good word for it, yes, that’s very much what it was. At the end she said, “If you’ve been away from God or you’ve been doing this, or you’ve been doing that” – everything I’ve been doing – “if you want to come up to the altar.” I had a friend who was behind me who had always asked, “why haven’t I seen you in church?” We ended up sitting in front of her. She didn’t really give me a choice, just put her hand on my back and led me up to the altar.

[00:39:16] Rosanne Moore: We all need friends like that sometimes,

[00:39:20] Sheri Glorioso: It was just what I needed. She prayed exactly what I needed. After the service, I just got to tell her how she was used by God to help me. It was a really cool thing. It was a really cool thing because I never had that kind of direct instruction come from somebody and I really didn’t know her well.

You know what I mean? But I like that we have the same background and she’s just the real deal, so I feel like I could trust “here.” Not that she’ll be perfect or anything, but God is working in this church.

[00:39:55] Rosanne Moore: That’s the thing, right? Larry talked about this in Real Church, you could meet together in an organization and it can be no different from a country club. You can do good things, you can feed the poor, you can do various good things, but what is it that happens in our midst that only the Spirit of God can do? That pastor was allowing the Spirit of God to move through her. You were opening your heart to hear His voice and your friend behind you was obviously being led by the Spirit too.

What does it look like to be tuned in to the Spirit of God and allow our coming together as the people of God to encourage one another. That’s a beautiful example of what only God can do. 

Thank you for sharing that. We’re going to need to wrap up for today. This has been so fun, Sheri. I’m going to do it again at some point. Thank you for being with me.

[00:40:58] Sheri Glorioso: Thank you for having me.

[00:40:59] Rosanne Moore: We got through this without anybody spitting their drink into the computer from laughing. 

[00:41:05] Sheri Glorioso: I’m thirsty, but I’m going to wait.

[00:41:09] Rosanne Moore: We have many of those memories.

[00:41:12] Sheri Glorioso: When we were talking, pictures popped up in my head of those moments.

[00:41:18] Rosanne Moore: Yes. You know what? It was funny, on the way to school today, we took one of my son’s friends who’s here in the neighborhood, and he accidentally said photogenic memory instead of photographic memory. And I’m like, that’s the memories where you look good in all of the things you remember, right? Those are our memories, Sheri. Oh dear. It’s so good.

[00:41:38] All right, we are going to wrap up for today. Everybody, thank you for joining us. I hope you are encouraged and if you want a copy of Real Church – either to read on your own or to be a part of our reading and relating book club discussions – go to the Larger Story website and you can get one there. Actually, you can get one “buy one get one 50% off,” there’s a sale right now. We hope you’ll join us in our reading community and see you back next week. Thanks so much. 

[00:42:15] Sheri Glorioso: Thank you. All righty.

[00:42:16] Rosanne Moore: Bye.

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