We have attended many of church’s through the years. I was not raised in church, but began attending a Methodist church in high school when a friend invited me. In our early years of marriage, we also attended Methodist churches. We’ve been to non-denominational, Baptist and Mennonite congregations. We’ve visited Brethern churches and a few home churches.
BUT, my kids have never been to a church quite as formal as the Presbyterian that we visited this past weekend.
I have to admit that it was refreshing to me. Men wore coats and ties – the likes of which is rarely even seen at funerals these days. Women wore dresses. Little girls had their hair up in hairbows and many little boys had on bubble suits, knee high socks and crisp white shoes.
Not that clothing has ANYTHING to do with worship, but the feel of the service was more reverent and I think that the way we dress has something to do with that.
I listened as the pastor spoke on The Father on Mother’s Day. I appreciated that he used words that made me think … even specific adjectives that I had to come home to investigate (patent vs latent). I was comforted in hearing the Nicene Creed and Lord’s Prayer…. familiar recitations of faith that I had not been privy to participate in as a community in quite some time. I miss singing the Gloria Patri.
As we sat there in our pew, bathed in sunlight, I thought about the different places that we’ve worshiped, how we worship and how much I long to be a part of a community of believers where I feel needed, wanted … desired.
It was easy to be distracted by this young man who was not at all unlike my own James at that age – fair skinned, blue-eyed and tow headed. I remembered back to those early years of sweet touches, gentle smiles and big hugs. As I reflected back on churches, my thoughts also drifted to earlier years when children were small and decisions were more simple.
This Mother’s Day was a conundrum of emotions … churches, children and community: a family split apart by an impromptu trip and drawn together by a special meal with wonderful teens. There is a longing for the formal, but a love of the comfortable. There was a recognition that what is familiar to me is not necessarily familiar to my children.
And what it all boils down to is community. I long to be a part of a church family and a personal family where I am desired. We all need to be needed. We all desire to be desired. I guess the question that I need to ask is: How do I let others know that they are important? That they are desired? That they are irreplaceable?
Like the saying goes: If you want a good friend, you must be a good friend.
So, if I want to go to a strong church, I must be a strong church member.
If I am looking for close friendships, I must offer myself openly with transparency.
If I want a close-knit family, I must draw my children in and offer them strength and stability.
If I want to have a wonderful marriage, I must be the best wife I am able.
It is only with my Father’s help
that this Mother
can be all she can be.
Lord, please direct my thoughts, words and actions.