I miss walking each of them to their class rooms, applying their name tags and
Mostly, I miss the worship. I miss standing beside my husband (with whom I've glared at and argued with most of the morning about absolutely nothing) uninterrupted by skirt pulling, "mommy-mommy-mommmm-eeeeee" and random questions that our 3 little girls ask us on an minute-by-minute basis.
Truly, truly- I miss the worship. There is something to be said about "Corporate Worship". There's something more to be said about worshiping along side my husband. The entire Sunday mornings' woes and frustrations melt away. We are reminded of why we are here- not just in the building- but in the world/ on this Earth. We were MADE to worship. And in that 30 minutes, each of us are doing exactly what we were created to do- We are Worshiping the Lord of the Universe. The God of the Heavens. The Creator of Life. We are fulfilling our part of our purpose in our worship.
I do have an understanding that singing songs inside a building isn't ALL that defines "Worship". None the less, I miss corporate worship.
I miss sitting in a chair, listening to a pastor explore the revelations that God has given him. More so- I miss TRUSTING that the pastor is "real" and that he is, in fact, teaching and preaching, and ministering to the body through the Holy Spirit's revelations to him.
I miss church. I miss having FAITH in going to church. I miss having FAITH that the people that we go (went) to church with are "real".
If ever there would be a time that I questioned my personal Faith in Jesus Christ; it would be in this season. We experienced the "fall of man" in a deep, personal way. A pastor that proved NOT to be who he claimed to be. A church body that acted like they were already in the Promised Land, but showed themselves to be nothing more than Desert Wanderers.
It wasn't just the fact that the pastor had an affair that disappointed me, and turned me "off" from church in general. It wasn't just an affair- but I'm not willing to delve into exactly how bad his actions really were. Let's just say- it was a man that took advantage of his authority- or should I say- a man that allowed Satan to take advantage of his authority. He lost the ever-going battle of the spirit and the flesh. The flesh won- lead into battle by Satan himself.
And after it was all said and done-after he was called out and asked to leave the church- the situation then became "a man that simply FELL". He messed up. What took me over the edge- as far as "church" goes, was the way that our "church family" handled the situation. Some were "let's forgive, and let him back in the pulpit", some were "let's tear him apart, limb by limb".... not many were willing to look to THE WORD for answers- they seemed to be lead my emotion- and emotion alone.
All of the "people" who seemed so "righteous" were lost. Lost. Lost. Lost.
This fallen pastor wasn't the "cause" of the church breaking up. It was the BODY that caused the break up. It seemed that the body depended too much on the "pastors" leadership; they looked more to a man than to their Savior for answers. And it turned out; the pastor wasn't their savior at all.... Now what should they do?
The entire situation led me to assume that PEOPLE (church people) were nothing but FAKE. How can we go to church- when inside the church- it's full of hypocrites, and liars, plastic bodies wandering around in a desert; acting like they've reached the Promised Land?
And who's to say I'm any different? I don't claim any sort of righteousness- I am beyond imperfect. All I know- and all I (hopefully) ever claim to "know" is that MY JESUS is the only one I should look to in times of need. My Savior is the only one that reached perfection; so no man (or woman) will ever look perfect to me. My Father is the revealer of all things- and NO MAN can represent my GOD well enough.
In order for us to go to church- as a family- we will need to get stronger and stronger in the understanding that human-beings are nothing more than Fallen Men. We have ALLLLL fallen- and come short. All of us. The challenge- in true honesty- is getting past the anger and bitterness that rises up when I'm around those that act "righteous".
Imagine if you will:
(Big Plastic Grin: "Well hallelujah sister, how ya doin'?!?! Praise the Lord it's so goooood to seee you!!!! My name's Fred, and I've just been having a GLOR-EEE-US week with my perfect wife, and my perfect kids..... )
How bout a nice handshake instead? Maybe a, "How's it goin'? My name's Bob. I'm a sinner! This morning I had an argument with my wife about always being late to church 'cause she spends too much time in front of the mirror. I'm imperfect. And over there are our imperfect kids."
Dude- if I didn't now Jesus, I'd WANT TO KNOW HIM after an honesty-shot like that!!!!
I miss going to church. But I wouldn't trade this season for anything!!! When I stepped back, (a little further back than I intended) I was able to check-myself out. Who am I? Who do I want to be? Who does GOD say I am? Who is HE telling me to be. I pointed my finger at "them", one by one, and judged.... and slowly turned my finger toward myself and questioned "What right do I have to make these judgments?"
I'm peeved at those that abandoned this pastor all-together. He didn't need a pat on the back "It's alright- come back into the pulpit.", but he SHO didn't need to look around himself and see backs turned against him either. I understand those that felt the need to "break fellowship" with him- based on their own convictions- but.... anyway... I'll move on.
I'm proud of those that stand beside him, with out coddling- but in offering accountability and JESUS-like friendships.
I'm proud of those that said "Let's move on. Forgive... and JUST move on."
I'm sad that an entire body got ripped apart, but thankful and grateful at the same time. I'm sad that I don't trust ANYONE, but humbled and in awe that the Lord chose to reveal the importance of NOT trusting anyone to me.
I miss going to church. But I'm glad I've been gone. When I walk through the doors this Sunday morning, I'll have new eyes to look out of, a new heart to love from, and a new humility to remove judgement with. It all came free- but it sure didn't come to me cheap. There's been a high-price to pay inside our walk and in our lives being in judgement of others, and having an 'attitude' toward God. But we're on the mend. We're getting there. We're growing in the valley; looking forward to the mountain top.