I should apologize for being a hypocrite. There is a part of me that is as involved as I want to be at church – which is to say, not much, and that’s working out okay for me at this point in the process. But then there are times, like this afternoon, like an online conversation over the weekend, that I get excited about church through someone else’s excitement, through someone else’s questions and search.
An online friend asked about services at our church. I admit, we take for granted that Seacoast-Irmo is a cool place to gather with Christians from so many different backgrounds and persuasions. I love questions about where we go to church, what’s the service like, I hear it’s casual, what time does everything start… It feels good to hear people search things out, and it feels good to point them in what I think is a positive moving-forward direction.
This afternoon on the way home, George told me how cool he thought the online service was yesterday morning. His first thoughts were that “online church” would be like our grandmothers watching First Baptist on TV, or shut-ins catching Sunday services after Meet The Press. But he was pleasantly surprised that the service was so well put together, that the message was on point for him – sounded like it was an unexpectedly cool experience. I love that, too – both seeing the thrill of surprise and feeling like I have some small part in fanning that flame. Hated to end the conversation.
Searching, seeking, questioning, surprise, thrill, hopeful joy – honestly, I could live off that stuff.
So I apologize. I’m a hypocrite. I don’t find myself searching so much, seeking so much, questioning so much. I don’t see myself surprised, thrilled. I’m not normally full of hopeful joy. At least not all the time. These days, not much of the time. But I know its power, and I remember how it feels, how it tastes. I’m not far, but “apart” is often far enough. Having stopped makes it that much harder to kickstart with any real meaning or enthusiasm.
Hmm. Maybe. But the other side of that is that I have still recognized it in others. So maybe there’s hope in there somewhere after all.