It’s quiet around here today. I am home alone – but not lonely. There’s a difference, ya’ know.
Hubby, youngest daughter and I tried a new church today. I have a long and complicated history with church. Long story short: I used to and now I don’t.
I’m still a believer. Just not an attendee – and not a believer in organized worship. I’m not sure I ever will be again. I don’t know. My life and I have changed. I do miss the community. I don’t miss the scheduled worship (and meetings and busy-work).
My life seems more intentional now. Worship is a moment, an observation, an experience – not an hour on Sunday morning.
Prayer is a continuous and ongoing conversation.
Service is a spontaneous reaction to circumstance and not planned.
The church service was strange. I liked some things about it. And I didn’t like a lot of things about it. The worship environment was beautiful. The message was good. Worship was uncluttered and focused.
But it all seemed carefully planned. And as I looked around the room, there was little diversity. Everyone looked happy. The people in the seats didn’t look like the folks I spend my days with. My husband and I were the oldest people in the room. No one looked like they were worried about whether their next paycheck would be enough or if there would be another paycheck. No one looked like they needed to be there. Everything looked fine and good. I’m sure they were perfectly nice people. I’m sure that If I go back, I would enjoy getting to know some of them.
Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Maybe it was just me. Maybe my focus needs to remain where it is right now – on family, home, friends and self.
Will I go back and give it another try? I don’t know. I think I’ve reached an age and stage of life where appearances aren’t all that important. I hope so anyway. It’s what I’m striving for. I want real. I want tears and hugs. I want fear and reassurance. I want to know what the challenges are and to work to find solutions. I want emotions and truth and sharing. I want to be there for people who need me and I want someone to be there for me. My life is messy and I want to be with people who are struggling just like I am. I’m past trying to keep up a front and pretending like everything is just fine. I grew up in that house and in that family – and everything wasn’t fine.
I felt lonely.
Except for two of my favorite people in the seats next to me, I felt like I was the only one in the room.
I enjoy being alone sometimes (maybe a lot).
I don’t like lonely. It’s a big scary world out there…and sometimes right here, too.