It’s crazy the stuff we’re thankful for as we age. Getting out of bed. Waking up at all. Coffee. Being able to swallow. Being able to feed myself. Being in my right mind. Well, mostly right.
“You woke me up this morning and You started me on my way. The Lord is blessing me. Right now, yeah, right now,” we sing in church on Sunday. My church ranks high up there when I count my blessings. It wasn’t always so.
We went years “home churching” as we called it, meeting with a handful of neighbors and intensely studying the scripture in the original language, as much as a bunch of self-taught amateurs could. Hard work, but very rewarding.
Dysfunctional in My Own Unique Way
Before that, we accidentally left the last big church we were in. Basically, we took a break because we recognized the dysfunction coming from the pulpit. One thing about dysfunction, it takes one to know one. Churches can be really dysfunctional families. If you grow up in a dysfunctional family, like I did, then joining another dysfunctional family that is trying to also be a healthy church is really uncomfortable.
Like one beloved preacher used to say, “If your family is not dysfunctional, I worry about you.”
We took a break one summer, enjoyed the self-imposed sabbatical, then forgot to go back. When fellow-Christians tell me they aren’t going to church, I get it.
Yep, The Church IS Full of Hypocrites
Of course, when people who are not believers tell me the church is full of hypocrites, I get that, too. I’ve had plenty of personal practice at being a hypocrite myself. Hard work pretending to be more spiritual than we are. We should think about giving each other a break.
For years, I drove by this beautiful little church that eventually became ours and felt God’s Spirit nudging me to visit. Maybe it wasn’t God at all, maybe it was just my imagination. If so, that’s a pretty creative stretch, even for someone with my inventive prowess.
“Lord, that’s an African American church,” I would argue with the Creative Force prompting my heart, “they are not going to want me. I won’t fit in.” Ironic, isn’t it, that I would rank fitting in as a priority for church membership.
Just for the record, I’m classified as white, or as I like to explain, pigment-challenged. If you read my stuff often, you’ll know I really hate the way our government insists on shoving me into a group marked Caucasian; whatever that is, maybe a mountain in Europe. So, I always check “Other” and write Texan in the blank, hopefully causing unseen Washington bureaucrats to shiver in their boots.
These days, I’m just thankful I had the guts to go visit outside the culturally approved box and worship somewhere new.
You Are Welcome Here
I don’t know what you have to be thankful for. But, if you are looking for something that seems like a figment of your imagination, a semi-functional family, may I recommend checking out an unsuspecting church?
Certainly, you are welcome at ours. They’ll accept anybody.
Want to join me in praying for us all?
Dear heavenly Father, does it bother You that Your children self-segregate? Did You create variety with joyful abandon and then watch in dismay as we, Your creatures, self-sort? Help us, O Lord, to see the delight in Your eyes when You look at each one of us. May we spread Your joy and delight throughout the world You created. May we, the people who call You Father, be the first to welcome others the way You rejoice over us. In Jesus name. Amen.
Cathy Krafve, Texas Author, Columnist, Speaker, and Radio Personality, focusing on fellowship in Christian Marriage and Family, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.