Monday, September 8th, 2014
FOUR WORDS THAT SURPRISE ME
I go to church.
Shhhh. I go to church. I haven’t since I was 20 years old. I kind of thought
I should. I kind of wanted to for my kids. I tried a few times. Nothing took.
I know how crazy organized religion (what a term!) could be–how full of hate and power abuse or how dead and rote it could be. I gave it up. I’d stick with my disorganized “religion”.
Now I go to church.
It’s all my daughter’s fault.
She found a church. She had the real hunger. And she told my husband and me that we HAD to be her guest at her church–her African American Episcopal
How do I describe what happened? I expected good music. Raucous gospel.
I expected to feel very very white and WASPy. I expected to have a nice experience and to go home happy to have supported my daughter.
I didn’t expect to feel immediately at home. I didn’t expect to feel immediately able to join in worship unselfconsciously. I didn’t expect to be able to be sad, happy, quiet, loud, sit, stand, clap, and be utterly myself comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t expect the joy and warmth and relief of being with real people pressing on with their lives with faith. I didn’t expect to bump into a long ago neglected spiritual joy and adventure. I didn’t expect doubts and differences to be so common and expected. Mostly, I didn’t expect to return to church.
But I did and do. Again and again.
I have a Pastor!! I would say he is extraordinary. He would say he is the conduit for God’s work. He creates an atmosphere of ease and spirit. It is organic and creative and unfolds to the needs of the day. It can be trusted. There is no phoniness. I leave with deep joy, ready for what life has to throw my way, full of gratitude. That’s why I can say–
I go to church.
Still surprises me.