Falling for Church

Beautiful, but the churches I love now look more like stores in a strip mall than this.

Beautiful, but the churches I love now look more like stores in a strip mall than this.

I feel like I'm falling for church again.  It's so enticing with it's promise of an instant family. We are so desperate for belonging after all.

And it makes me want to vomit.  No seriously...nerves equal nausea. 

It started with a Sunday service. The best way to sniff out all the crazies before committing.

Then it was a few hours volunteering at the thrift store.  The grandmas were so fantastic I've worked for free every Tuesday for almost two years.

Then it was a mid-week Bible study group with my husband; a chance to get to know more married couples our age.  

Somehow I started teaching a middle school class and the girls there brighten my world.  

Then I finished my book and all the waiting is killing me.

My solution: teach another class!  This time tackling the prophet books in the Old Testament of all things.

If all that wasn't enough...today was my first day to work in the church office. Volunteering Thursdays and Fridays to help organize some things a church with a couple thousand people can't afford to let fall through the cracks.

What am I thinking?? 

Churches are notorious for ripping people like me to shreds.  Filled with self-righteousness and insecurity, threatened by even the smallest political statement, or theological disagreement.   

Anytime you get too close, you will get burned.

So I've learned to keep church at arm's length.   It's like how you feel about dating after an ugly breakup or divorce.  Trust it little and expect the worst.   

Then one day you realize you've forgiven the shiny tie wearing pastor who implied living poor meant you weren't living right.  Or the group leader who said your life was disobedient to God because she didn't like your boyfriend.  Or the counselor who spread the word that you were a slut.

But just like in love, not all churches are bad.  There's good ones out there...unthreatened, shockingly humble, and content with who you are.  

It could all go horribly wrong...but as I've said here before, sometimes you've got to go in not knowing what you're doing, and it changes your life.