I know it's Monday (don't remind me). And I should have posted this yesterday. But I have some thoughts about Sunday that I'd like to share.
I look around the church and see people whom I know are hurting. I see a mother's tender touch on the back of her paraplegic son who has just suffered a seizure. This is her normal. I see the smile on the face of a young woman as she "sings praise" knowing she's mourning the loss of the life she miscarried. I see new life - a baby peacefully sleeping in her father's arms, blissfully unaware of the service going on around her. I see hollow eyes in the face of a widow who walks in and finds a single seat. I see the confusion on the faces of a few visitors who don't know where to go and aren't sure if anyone will speak to them, or if they want anyone to. My heart is overcome. Grief. Compassion. Pain. Joy. Rejoicing.
This is church. This is His body. This is the place He manifests Himself to me - to us. Do I understand the omnipresence of God? He sees. He knows. He meets. He is presently happening all around and in the life of each and every one of His saints. He knows the need. He knows the desire. He is here - among us - and He is meeting with each of us.
There are some who don't smile. There are other who can't seem to stop. Eyes that are bright with joy. Eyes that are filled with sorrow. We reach out and shake some hands during the few minutes we call fellowship time. We smile and greet one another as we hurriedly pass to claim our seats. The most common phrase uttered on Sunday mornings must be, "Good to see you." The most common question has to be "How are you?" The most common answer simply must be "Fine, how are you?" Do we really want to know the answer? Do we wait for the truth?
We sponsor mission trips, donate backpacks, serve in the food pantry and give our tithes. But what am I doing to serve the needs of those sitting in the seats around me? Am I loving the broken? Am I finding the lost? Am I sharing with those in need? Do they see my need? Do they see my broken heart? Do they care about me? I have a desire for fellowship, accountability, truth, love, and compassion...and I have a desire to give it too.
Hidden behind our Sunday best, can we take off our masks? Can I be real? Can you be yourself? Can we be who God created us to be? It's not about talents and abilities - but weakness and inability. Failures and hurts. When I let go of my pain - when I put down the mask - He can work. Replacing my purpose for His. When I'm broken - truly broken - He can make me His. He moves. He sends. He is glorified. This is the church. People who need Him. His touch. And how do they get that? His people. We reach. We go. We serve. We hug. We ask how you are and we wait for an answer. We remove the mask and don't just say "fine." We speak the truth in love. It's more than handshakes during fellowship. It's the person who asks "How can I help you? What can I pray about?" This is the church. The one who sends a message on Monday to say you're praying. The one who emails on Tuesday to share a devotional. The one who texts on Friday to hang out. Not just Sunday morning. His bride in human flesh.