Last Sunday, I said to myself, I miss the reverence of church.
I wasn’t looking for justification to just stay home.
Because the pieces and experiences I miss are not the popular way…are not really the way of our world now, the “world world” or it seems sometimes to me, the “Faith world”.
I’ve been conflicted, in a season of bending while longing to belong again.
There is a trend, my friend, a preacher’s daughter and I agreed.
People are not going to church.
We know it’s not good.
For us or for them.
This friend whose daddy has long passed, this friend who I rarely hear her call her daddy “daddy”, always calls him “Reverend Harper”.
I’m smiling, I see her reverence for him, her daddy and her Heavenly Father.
This morning I feel burdened because I feel so different.
Like thorns among the roses wet with rain, I’m particular in my picking of the right words to say.
I read a thread of replies on Twitter prompted by a young woman’s boasting of leaving the F***ing church of her childhood.
The church that held the memory of her favorite song back then, “They’ll know We are Christians by our Love”.
Several comments followed in agreement with her over her courage to leave the church that she felt never truly loved others, maybe encouraged judgment and hate.
I know that church, I’ve been there amongst the fear promoters and the stone throwers.
I rejected it too.
But, I’m burdened because I don’t think it’s good to use obscenities in the same sentences with God, or love for that matter.
To say so here feels bold, bold in that belief.
We can love boldly and be obedient boldly, I think this is the key.
I am bending, I am less resistant to other than what I’ve always known.
Requirements, though, I still need them.
Need them firmly spoken to me, answers when I ask for the way.
He led me here today.
“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.
You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!”
Psalms 119:1-5 NLT
I went to church last week.
I heard a gentle nudging saying, No, you need to go, you need to go for YOU.
And I thought on the way over about the loud music, how I missed the quiet days when the children never made a sound and when people weren’t sitting down with their latte cups
When you could hear the hushing sounds of mamas and the clink of the coins and dropping of dollars, tiny noises during the offertory hymn.
An atmosphere that made listening easy, pleasant, required little of me.
I thought of all of this and sat down next to my pretty girl who offered a vanilla latte and then, the lights, the loud welcome of the band, the crescendo.
Seconds before and as clear, clear as a bell, I thought.
What you resist most is what you need most.
And I was different from that moment, the way I took it in, accepted you might say.
I sang, I opened my heart and I sang, softly.
This season of un-belonging, of conflicted resistance, is changing, slowly shifting.
I still believe in requirements. I still need them to know and grow.
I’ll ask God to show me what I need, to point out my resistance, to enlarge my heart to be more willing and open, to grow.
“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hide your commands from me!”
Psalms 119:18-19 NLT
Linking up for FMF, prompted by the word “burden” which means a particularly heavy load. I went over the 5 minutes, it took longer than that to lighten my load!
Lord, help my words to honor you, not confuse others about You and help me to grow in this season, so that they will know You because of my love. Because of mercy, Amen