When I think about the truly authentic relationships that I have with people I realize my relationship with God has grown and been stretched because of these relationships. This past week two very new but very real friends found me in a place of need (subconsciously I think) and reached out to me. I am not even sure they know they reached out, but they did none the less. I needed them and they helped me get through something. I kind of feel like a broken record when I talk about my sweet friends but I think I agree with Brian. We can't do life alone. We need each other.
After church today I read this from Jen Hatmaker and realized it fits the day. Today while I know I have friends, I also know life is hard. It would have been "easier" to stay in my bed. It would have been "easier" to not go to church. But this morning I made it to church to be reminded that my friends are important. They make me better and they help me through it all.
Every Sunday, I think of how many ordinary folks are heading to church all over the whole world. So many are going sick, sad, broken down, scared, or confused. They are just taking their weary hearts to church, looking for God and hope.
This is just the bravest thing, isn't it?
It is so much easier to shut down, to back out, to wallow around in cynicism. It is so much easier to throw darts at the hopeful in their messy, imperfect faith communities. It is so much easier to go bitter, dark, angry, and cold. It is so much easier to just not go, not hope, not believe.
Two of my very favorite people on earth will be in our little middle school cafeteria this morning (ANC is so fancy) with cancer in their bodies. They will worship and pray and love God and people, and I think, what is braver than that?
Dear one, take your battered heart to church. Let God meet you there among other people who need Him just as much. He is faithful and you are loved. The collective faith of others can stand in the gap when ours is faltering. Just surround yourself with worship and the gospel truth and all the other sinners-turned-saints.
Liturgical, modern, loud, reverent, dressed up, dressed down, big, small, city, country...doesn't matter. It all belongs to God. You are welcome in the sanctuary.
So glad I am welcome.