Yesterday marked the I-don't-know-how-many-eth Sunday in our quest for a church home. We've been to tiny churches and mega churches. Expository vs. Topical. Take communion in your seat or in the back-- corporately or as individuals. Worship with full bands or one guy with a guitar. Some have been missionally oriented while others are quite insular. Kids come in or sometimes they aren't allowed at all. Almost always, they are certainly not there for the duration of church. Goodness, who could possibly expect them to sit through an entire service?
It's feeling like a long, long road.
Did I mention, we're not looking for perfection? We really aren't. Everyone says that.... 'there's no perfect church.' We say it and we mean it. Our years are earning us something in regard to the wisdom inherent in that admission: There is no perfect church. This isn't our first rodeo. Greg and I have learned that what many regard as glittery is often not made of gold. Usually it's more rather like an epoxy surface that once scratched chips off into plastic-y slivers all over an otherwise perfectly clean floor.
And there are these places of weak, synthetic reinforcement in all churches. Places where the gold ran out and they're trying to cover it. It won't last and it eventually wears away, exposing the lack underneath. This is, I've come to believe, inevitable on this side of eternity. The prideful human spirit cannot withstand the divulgence of it's own great poverty. And so it is with churches, making right all of those naysayers who warn that our churches are filled with hypocrites. It is true. Perhaps it takes a hypocrite to know it is true.
So with all of this, thank God our hope is in Jesus. Thank Him that we can and should choose to assemble together despite the imperfection of it all. Thank Him that it's possible to get our medicine still from such a dirty cup. Thank Him that he shows us that even on our first day, somewhere new, we really do fit in as each congregant wears the same matching garment of filthy rags.
Thank Him that despite our misgivings and judgements, reality prescribes we really do feel at home in church.
counting more blessings:
getting the Nod to write again
the lick-my-lips excitement I feel about this
school that is hard, where we learn much
libraries like candy stores
living adventure through my dear Sweet T
*cancer surgery (it can be removed!!)
a Mama that is trusting Him
a sister that will be there
another sister bridging the gap
the way they and we love
him and me in unity
the sight of my boy riding his bike down the road to buy his own lunch
forget what they say: there are plenty of Christians in Portland
His church is dirty and messed up, but alive and kicking
holding onto my kids for a full church service
knowing how right that was
* Please be praying for my mama. Her cancer surgery is this Wed., Sept. 12th 11:45am EST.