What does she look like. Church? We all have stories.
I’ve heard stories across the spectrum of all humanity. From the fervent love and acceptance they’ve found to the hurt and hate they’ve experienced.
I might hear about:
The vacation Bible school at the neighborhood church two blocks down, and how you walked with your little brother in tow in the hot Alabama sun and how you learned a wobbly cross stitch on simple white cotton. A cross in pink thread. And how at the end of the day, your seersucker dress stuck to your back as the ceiling fan spun lazy circles swirling hot air down and how the cool of open doors and ice cream sandwiches on the lawn still remind you of that summer. And you learned good things in the innocence of those young days.
You would tell me of the unwavering rigidity with which he ruled. How he stood proud and somber and spoke words laced with malice. How he preached week after week and no one dared question him, and when they did, they were spurned as unbelievers. And the gossip spread hot and wild like fire blazing through the bush and everyone prayed hard for your soul as they gathered over coffee with dripping tongues. And you wonder if they’re right?And you realize you weren’t the first or the last to be hurled down into submission.
And you would tell me of cushions on the floor and bodies piled in on couches and chairs and an acoustic guitar and the sound of everyone’s voices lifted together and how you share a meal and break bread and pass the wine and rejoice. And you would tell me that you are family, community, and that your best friends are there every week. You wouldn’t miss it. This is home.
And you might tell me of a church you go to with a senior pastor and board of elders, a sanctuary, and service. You might tell me of your community group that meets to do life together. And the missions trip your church just organized and the lives that came back fervent and fiery, seen and changed. And you might tell me of the soup kitchen your church started, that serves hot bowls of hope to weary souls. You might tell me of the programs and the youth groups your children love and are a part of and how they have grown up in this community and you love your church family.
And there are so many more stories wound up in this idea of church, so I’d love to hear yours.
I’ve heard some people’s experiences through the comments and emails and I’d love for more of you to share what comes to mind when I say church. From personal experience.
It can be good or bad, neutral or both. Be honest. It doesn’t have to be profound or prolific. Just write what comes to mind.
If you’d like to link up a post, you can. Or you can email me or leave it in the comments.
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I’ll leave the link open all week for those of you who might want to sneak in some writing during the week