Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lost In A Crowd

I haven't blogged much about my personal faith lately. I have a list of excuses reasons. It's hard to focus with the kids home all day. Other people do it better than I could. It's personal....etc.

The truth is that my soul is still hemorrhaging from leaving our church two years ago. I bandage and duct tape the wound, stopping the bleeding long enough to get on with life, but every once in a while the bandage becomes soaked and I have to peel it off in order to slap a new one on it. It's painful and infected.

But what can I do?

I can't change the past and know that we couldn't have stayed, but the pain and the questions that flooded my heart are still here...waiting for an answer that might never come.

We have "assimilated" into a new church, one big enough to get lost in as we recovered. Two years later and I'm still lost in the thousand or so people that show up every Sunday. The church has two services and is at capacity for each one. As a result, they don't offer Sunday School. Instead, people are encouraged to join home groups that meet throughout the week in various homes for Bible Study and fellowship. There are dozens to choose from. Up until just recently, it has been impossible for us to join any of them. And now that we can even ponder such a thing, we would still have to overcome the obstacles of my husband's late work hours and child care. It's very complicated and uncertain about whether it will be tenable for us.

Every Sunday I sit in the same row and listen to the pastor, sing songs, and contribute financially, but I feel so far from church. As we drove to church on this sunny morning, I was enveloped in a cloud as I wondered when the last time was that someone had prayed with me and for me. When was the last time I could share my burdens with a fellow Christian? When was the last time that I had been able to pray for someone outside of my family? I can't remember. The size of the church, that had seemed so appealing to our weary souls, has now become an obstacle, an empty shell filled with unconnected hearts.

It's not the fault of the church. They are not purposely thwarting my spiritual life. They do some things very well, but for every advantage of a large church there is a disadvantage. Some things just can't be done by a large church.

After all, what is church anyway?

Worship and teaching are important, but in a culture where it is so readily available in hundreds of forms, it is really the fellowship of believers that is most needed. Teaching reaches the mind, connection reaches the heart. Prayer, encouragement, and genuine caring are what the body was meant for. Everything useful in Christendom is derived from these and eventually returns to them.

I bear some responsibility for where I am. I haven't tried exceptionally hard to overcome the pain that lingers just beneath the surface. Frankly, I've just been too d@#! tired to even give it an honest effort. I won't lay blame solely with others.

Choir rehearsals begin next month. I'll go and try to integrate once again into a more connected role. I am hoping to reclaim worship. I lost it when we left our old church. As part of the worship team there, I would sing each Sunday and be able to focus more on the actual act of worshipping, even more so than when I was in the congregation. When we left, each song we sang in another church--with me lost in the congregation--was just a reminder of what we had left behind. Instead of feeling worshipful, I would only feel sorrow at what was past, reminded of the people and and fellowship we had lost.

hoping for peace

1 comment:

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