Hello all. Yesterday getting ready for church was one of those mornings. You know what I’m talking about- I know you do. Those mornings when you wait too long to get up and get moving, yourself. And because of that, it becomes necessary to rush the kids, continually hurry them, yell at them, threaten to ground them from everything they hold dear, right up to breathing and blinking if we don’t make it to church on time. Those mornings when your conversation in the car on the way to church consists mainly of:
“You stop it! Shut up!”
“I’m not doing anything to you! I wasn’t even talking to you, so shut up!”
“Both of you SHUT UP!”
And then you get out of the car at the church parking lot, and you’re hissing at them like an angry goose to “be quiet, don’t slam the door, hurry up and open your door so I can hit the lock button, put that toy down and get out of the car, DO NOT TALK THAT WAY TO ME, YOUNG LADY!” Then on the way in, you’re mumbling, half to yourself and half to the one kid who hung back to walk beside you. “I’m just gonna give up. I don’t know why we even bother. It’s completely pointless!” And you get in and they haven’t even started yet, because they’re just really bad about that, and then you sit down with your family, and you start feeling rotten for being such a hateful grouch all morning. And you start to get teary-eyed a little. And you try to wipe your tears inconspicuously so people might not notice you’re sitting up there crying, or so your family, stretched along the entire pew to your right, won’t turn and stare at you and mouth, “What’s wrong!?”
Well, that’s not so surprising.
What was surprising for me yesterday was how I reacted to some visitors we had at church! One of our previous elders and his wife, his oldest son and his wife, and their two young teenage boys were visiting with us yesterday. They haven’t been there since they both retired and moved to a house on the lake. But yesterday they were there, and for some unfathomable reason, it made me cry, just seeing them sitting there! And not only that, but every time I looked at them I got weepy again! Mr. G, so tall, gangly and klutzy looking, Mrs. G, so much the same after all these years, beautiful because she is a Christian lady. I’ve never been particularly attached to them or very close to them, but for some reason, seeing them sitting there just brought me back to my childhood, growing up in that church, seeing Mr. and Mrs. G at every single service, along with most of the rest of the people who were sitting around me yesterday.
I have never been able to make some people understand why we continue to go to that congregation when there are other congregations in the area who are more active, have more things for the kids, and quite possibly more interesting and talented preachers. But I don’t think anyone can understand who hasn’t gone to the same church for as long as they can remember. I don’t think they can truly get the way I feel about that place and those people. They are simply part of me. Flaws and all, mistakes, failings, and shortcomings, they are part of who I am. And sometimes, when I least expect it, I am reminded of just how much I love them, just for being a part of my life, even if that part is just sort of a place in the background of my growing up. Always there, solid, unchanging, ready to support if needed, and just sharing in the joy of being part of the family of God.
So after church, I made sure to say hello to each of them- gave them quick hugs, Mr. G and his son, but then when I went to hug Mrs. G, I started crying again! I explained how my silly sentimentality just caught me off guard, and how good it was to see them, and she hugged me again, several times, and told me she was glad I was happy to see them and that I just had a soft heart. I know she understood, even if it did make me feel like a crazy lady!
Until next time,