I paused a moment on Sunday morning at church and looked around. It struck me that we are all coming in with our broken pieces, and only God sees beneath the facades we hide behind. I don’t know what lies in the hearts of those around me, or where they’ve been. I shuddered for a moment considering that only God knows our hearts. I wondered, for a moment if we will all see each other in heaven. And, then I put those thoughts away to trust in what I know. His promises. His grace covering.
I sang the worship songs. I focused on His word.
Last night, Tim and I were in an unlikely place. We decided to go with friends to see a rock concert of a band we saw 22 years ago, when my hair was enviably big and frizzy and my waist much thinner.
There were some tough people in the crowd, many mullets and big beautiful 80′s hair and tank tops with spike heels. Let’s just say, it wasn’t church.
I looked around again that night, and noticed the broken around me, stark and dark and in my face. Broken people. I thought again.
I’m not in church.
Or was I?
My broken isn’t any different really than the people at the concert. It’s just more covered, more hidden. The people surrounding us in church, no less broken and in need of a Savior than the drunkard stumbling around at the rock concert.
Before you judge me too much, I haven’t been on a date with my workaholic husband in I-don’t-know-when and sometimes you just have to go with it. I started to feel a little guilty for being in this rough environment a few times, like when the lead singer yelled out, “Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em”. Yeah, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore, or the haven of SGM, or my safe church pew. This isn’t Women of Faith. I felt even more guilty when I remembered the words to the songs and sang along with my smiling husband. They were ballads, Ok? Nice words, I promise. I felt out of place and uncertain, and more guilt. What am I doing here?
This isn’t church.
Then, I was walking out and a beautiful friend (with some rockin’ gorgeous hair) of one of the ladies in our group, stepped up to me with tears in her eyes.
She said, “I need you.”
I said, “What do you need?”
She said, “I lost a baby. This is what you do, right?”
And, she told me about her sweet baby girl who was born still years ago. I hugged the beautiful-haired mama and we stood in the midst of the smoke-infested outdoor concert arena, two moms talking about babies in heaven, shedding tears for what wasn’t. Feeling the missing. We both promised to pray for one another.
And, I thought, Maybe this is church.
After all, I’m His. And, He goes before us, where ever we are. His light can shine in any darkness. And, it does, all the time. If we’re looking.
I’m glad I was there to meet and hug this beautiful mom. And, once again, I’m astounded by the grace of our God.