Two weeks in a row now I've offended people at church. One poor guy had the bad luck of innocently asking me, "How's it going?" And I think he meant it sincerely, but all I could think was, What do you mean??? How the hell do you think it's going? I answered meanly through tears, "I don't think you really want to know how it's going." Most recently I ran out of the sanctuary sobbing--sobbing--just because someone asked me what was wrong when they saw me crying.
I hate church. I hate church because Mark should be there. On Sunday mornings we'd go to church and all disperse to youth group or Sunday school, then we wouldn't see the kids again until the coffee time in the dining room before the service. Mark would sit at a table with his friends. And then he'd sit with friends in the sanctuary. Now I can't find him. I look around the dining room and he isn't there. I look around the sanctuary trying to do a head count of my kids, but I come up short.
I love church. The people in our church feel like family. They've shown us love and compassion beyond measure. We have five pastors on staff at our church, and four of them were at our house the morning Mark died. Other people from church have reached out in very loving, tangible ways. You couldn't find a better example of a group of people living out the love of Jesus than the people of Elim.
But I'm sure I'll offend someone next Sunday. I can't seem to get through a Sunday without doing so.
I hate church. I love church. I am a prickly pear.