Imagine the cornerstone of your day or week. Is it the Sunday morning newspaper with a cup of coffee? Is it Taco Tuesday, Saturday Donuts, or Date Night? How about Sunday afternoon football or even that nap you sneak in everyday after work?
For me, it's church. For the past 13 years, church has started my week off right.
I guess you can imagine how off my weeks are right now.
It's been 2 Sundays since our lives changed drastically. 2 Sundays without getting everyone ready with nice clothes and a quick bowl of cereal. 2 Sundays void of running to Albertsons for milk for the coffee shop, and listening to the band warm up while the espresso machine does the same. 2 Sundays that my kids have not waited patiently for their ritual of donuts and water before Sunday School. 2 Sundays since I have seen the faces of people I love.
It's been 2 Sundays of weirdness, honestly. We all 5 snuggled/wrestled in bed this morning. Together, Dan, Mckenna and I made Bacon, french toast, and fresh orange juice. We ran some laundry, watched a movie, organized a cupboard. We even forgot to get the Sunday paper off the damp driveway until we saw last Sunday's still sitting on the counter.
When a pastor loses his job, he loses much more than an income. And the way this whole thing went down has meant we have lost even more.
We will be ready to go to church, and very soon. We believe whole-heartedly in the local body as the hands and feet of God, in the picture the church paints of the relationship between Christ and His bride, and in the great need for fellowship. We believe in it so strongly that it has been our life's work for 10 solid years. And Lord willing, it will continue to be our work and passion for many more decades.
Some Sunday very soon we will walk into a different building, put our kids in classrooms with strangers, and sit in chairs next to unfamiliar people.
I will be glad to be there. But a piece of me will be sad. Because dear friends and people I love wholeheartedly will worship just a few blocks away.
The amazing thing about church, the way that God intends it to be, is that the people are the church. In that way we have not lost our church family. The phone calls have been many and the visits, though very difficult, have helped our road of healing; many mornings we have found notes on our front door, and some anonymous saint left a gift card and a card that brought me to tears with its thoughtful sentiments. Students have brought cards and encouragement, family has brought food and more food. We have not lost our church, when you look at it that way.
I will let you know when we do go, and what it's like. Until then, pray for us to make the best decision for our family--to not rush things but to bring the joy, the consistency, and the learning that comes with the ancient tradition of gathering together. And pray they have donuts.