But what I do trust is that we were brought together by the Holy Spirit, whose reconciling work in the world happens through our hopeful and failing selves. The church is one of those rare places in the world where we voluntarily enter a room with people we just don’t get. You sit down by strangers and hear that those who do not love do not know God, and sometimes you you feel deeply the implications of such a belief — you fearfully declare it the Word of the Lord. You look around the room and wonder if you’re up to the work. You look inside yourself and find a heart capable but not always willing, itself a maze of excuses and excesses and anxieties that keep you from knowing your true self — the one beloved and redeemed by God.