I missed church last week. DH and I were celebrating our 10th, so we were out of town. As we sat over Indian food, with Bollywood musicals playing in the background, one of the things we talked about was our church. We both were dissatisfied with it. We liked the pastor. We felt comfortable there. The church is open to people. We like it, but we just don't feel connected to it for a variety of reasons. I, especially, have been struggling with the lack of connection that I feel to it.
I laid out some of those concerns in my post, Children of the I-God, grieving over the separateness created by taking communion individually and the influx of technology and polished presentations.
So today, as I hurried the kids into their classes and dashed to the service, I had no great expectations. I just hoped that my inner critic would shut up long enough for me to get something meaningful from my time in church.
During one of the first songs, I began to settle myself; purse here, Bible there, look over the bulletin quickly, stand up, begin singing. When the song was over, someone near the front of the sanctuary bumped into one of the cameras that tapes the service and broadcasts it onto screens on either end of the large room, allowing everyone to see no matter how far they are from the front. It came crashing down in dramatic fashion during the announcements. After a brief check to make sure no one was hurt, the announcements continued while people scurried about to set things right.
Right after the announcements, the worship leader cued the music and began telling everyone that we would be taking communion together, as a community, as a way showing unity within the entire body.
In a flash, sudden recognition/revelation/meaning washed over me in a flood. I began to laugh and cry at the same time. Silent tears. I remembered what I had written..the suggestion for a mishap during the service, the hope that my church would recognize the importance of community during communion. I felt a gentle nudge from the God who was willing to share an inside joke with me. A reminder that He can speak to me in the smallest of things, which bear no significance for others.
It seems silly to say that God spoke to me through a crashing camera and a policy change.
The last week we had been in church, I had come home depressed and spent a long time composing a letter about my opinions about all that was happening. It was a rehash of Children of the I-God, in letter form. I was determined to send it to my pastor.....except I didn't. I couldn't overcome the feeling that it would just be a letter of criticism that would be discouraging to the leadership; just one more whiny diatribe from a disgruntled member. I folded it up and set it aside, thinking I might eventually send it.
This morning, God reminded me that He knows what I am struggling with. He knows my heart and what I am longing for. He has given me hope for my church and my place in it, all through an accident-prone person and a rethinking of the way things are done.
Thank You God, for that first drop of rain.