We’ve been in Canton, OK for almost three weeks now. To say that it is a small town would almost be an understatement. When we decided to move here, I really believed that I would like it, but that it would take some time to adjust. I was a little off in my belief though.
I absolutely love it here. Living in a small town is different than most places I’ve been, but I feel right at home. It is amazing to me how this community is a true community. We watch out for one another. We speak to one another in town. It really seems that people genuinely care for one another.
Let me tell you about a couple of our experiences so far. There is a grocery store here in town, which means we don’t have to drive 30 miles to the nearest Walmart all the time. Kelley and I went shopping the other day to get some groceries. We were getting enough that we needed a buggy. When we got up to the checkout, there was a high school age girl working. She checked us out and then did something that completely blew my mind. She didn’t even ask. She picked up all our grocery bags and started out the door with them. The only question she asked was where we were parked.
I had never had that happen before. Most stores will help you take your things out if you ask, but this was different. I’ve been in a few other times to get a few things, and when I tell them that I can take my things out myself, they almost insist on doing it for you.
Yesterday was probably the most eventful day that we’ve had since the move. We had our normal church activities in the morning, went to lunch with a couple from the church, and then was back at the church by 2 for a retirement reception for the previous minister here. This was open to the entire community, not just those that attend church with us. And this community did not disappoint. For two solid hours people came and went, congratulating Steve and Betty, and welcoming Kelley and I to the community. And it didn’t matter if they went to church here or not, they were genuinely excited to meet us and welcome us.
Here’s my point. This is what true Christian community should look like. If you are a Christ follower, then we are all on the same team. It doesn’t matter if you go to the Christian Church, the Baptist Church, or whatever church. One of my favorite statements about the Restoration Movement is “We are not the only Christians, but we are Christians only.” We are all in this together, and in a small town in Oklahoma, I’m starting to see that actually play out. Is it perfect? No, because we are human and we will never reach perfection this side of Heaven. But when a Christian Church minister and a First Baptist Church minister can sit down with their spouses around a dinner table and talk for hours, I think we’re headed in the right direction.