On Sunday afternoon, I sat at lunch with 7 girlfriends. One mentioned she had tried out a church in her neighborhood for when her mom came into town for Mother's Day.
Immediately, the pangs in my soul struck. It's no lie that I don't go to church any more. The last time I was in a church was for a friend's wedding in September. And technically, that doesn't count. So, the last time I actually went to a service was when my best friend was in town over a year ago. It's just not a part of my life. And after my experience, I don't know when I'll feel comfortable going again. The thought alone just doesn't excite me.
She mentioned how caring this place seemed, how warm and welcoming it was. She spoke about how she felt comfortable she was and how she was excited to go back.
Warmth. Loving. Community-centered. These are things I had hoped to find in a church. These are things I've always loved about the Church. And for a split second, I almost missed the Church. I missed the body I knew to be in Axis and Summit. I missed the hope I had in Radius and what I saw in Jacob's Well. I thought about my small group back at Willow and the love, support, strength I received from it and my soul missed that aspect of the Church.
My faith has changed so much in the last 5 years. I think the pastor I was when I started at Willow and who I am today wouldn't recognize each other. I have grace for where I am and am okay with what I stand for. And for a split second, I realized I missed what I knew the Church could be. However, it was like a breath. I missed it and then it was done. Because I know community can be outside of the church. And what I have right now, the community I have, I wouldn't trade for the world.