I miss going to the church building. I miss witnessing the passion behind my pastor’s heartfelt and much prayed over sermons. I miss getting some good sermon meat on the bone that feeds me for days. I miss my son, Chase, sitting next to me and shaking the pew to the point that Pastor Trent’s lips are constantly bobbing. I miss the choir that can easily hold a candle to the famed Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir (this from a deaf girl :). I miss glancing at Preston and watching his meticulous note taking. I miss watching Kevin lean in close to Carla to whisper something in her ear in the pew in front of us. I miss hearing Dennis shout “Amen!” from the pew behind us. I miss. I miss. I miss…..
I’m the girl missing from pew 5.
I could tell in my own demeanor that Sunday after Sunday, week after week, month after month, I was digging deeper and deeper into isolation. I was spending more and more time in my bedroom, away from the world. Except FaceBook, that is. I watched as the world spun out of control. I watched as atheists voiced their views. I watched as christians voiced theirs, with scripture often attached. I witnessed pastors get involved in political battles, to the point of name calling. I’ve read so many conspiracy theories that it’s comical. I’m guilty of posting a time or two my own opinion about the mask situation. I’ve seen pure ugliness.
God started working on me recently. Conviction. He’s shown me that I should not have been knee deep in this mess. I should have been on my knees. I started backtracking and wondering where I veered from the path and fell in the pit. I wanted to blame the inability to go inside the church building. Then I blamed my inability to go to the drive-in services. Then I blamed the inability to watch online because it’s not captioned. Then God dropped the Mic, so to speak …………
I am the church. My fellow christians are the church.
That property located at 1850 Antioch Church Road is just that….. a piece of property, made of brick and mortar. I may not have been able to go in and have Pastor Trent hand me scripture and “feed” me until the next meal(church service). That’s not his job and very unfair for me to throw that weight on his already laden shoulders. I have a bible and it’s MY responsibility to hide the words of it in MY heart for times like this. I may not have been able to hear the choir and be overcome with emotion from a particular song that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. That’s not the job of the choir. It’s to praise God.
I am the church. My job is to love others by being Christ-like. How can I be Christ-like? I’m learning and trying. I will fail more times than I succeed, but I pray those I come in contact will have a smidgen of the mercy that God has had on me. Last night, I sent a text message to several people. Half were probably unchurched. I asked how I could specifically pray for them before I went to bed. I honestly didn’t expect any responses. Every single one responded with a very specific request. People are hurting.
I cried and prayed for these people, as well as my own self. For the first time in longer than I care to admit, I prayed with my eyes closed. I don’t know the answers, but I know the one who does. I’m thankful for God taking these blinders off my eyes, reminding me of the tools that He has used Pastor Trent to equip us with. Tools that we are supposed to use in the mission field to help others, not hurt.
The mission field is right outside that brick and mortar building. So is the church.
Until I’m on pew 5 again,
PS. I love the brick and mortar building and I look for the day that I can go worship a risen Savior among my brothers and sisters. Until then, I hope to be like Corrie Ten Boom, thankful for the fleas. (I know I’ve piqued your curiosity with that-go look it up!)