Replacing Sunday Mornings
For a while we tried, moving from one church to another. We were never looking for perfection. We weren't that naïve. We couldn't even name what we were looking for – a fit, a holy place, some siren song calling us home.
Some of us searched longer than others, but in the end we faded out. We were looking for Jesus. Instead we found programs, guilt, and awkward small talk. We found fog machines and Five-Simple-Steps-to-Spiritual-Growth and fill-in-the-blank Bible studies.
So we started sleeping in on Sunday mornings. We went to the farmers market and bought good things straight from the earth. We drank our morning coffee at small café tables outside, and people walked by with their dogs at a slow, Sunday-morning pace. It felt more like rest to us than those chaotic church mornings, when we moved through the loud small talk of the church foyer and felt invisible.
Some of us went to neighborhood bars after work or late at night, and we were surprised to find that all we had to do was sit down at the bar. All we had to do was sit down, and we were part of that place, that crowd, that beautiful mosaic of people, all of them broken in their own ways – few of them pretending otherwise.
Under a fluorescent Miller Lite sign, nobody told us to "get plugged in" or suggested that nursery duty might be just what the Lord wanted us to do for the next 8,000 Sundays. Instead, we drank a few too many, and we began to ramble, and people we didn't know listened earnestly, layering their memories over ours until we were united by our stories.
We went on Facebook and played at community. We went out to dinner and to concerts and to the movies. We went dancing and felt the thrum of the music in our bodies, and once, some Church Person told us that dancing was a gateway to sin – but there we were, in a haphazardly formed circle of strangers, singing the same song at the top of our lungs.
We went on road trips and on airplanes, and we were searching, still, even then. We slung our backpack over our shoulders and went farther out into the world.
Some of us went to therapy and began the hard work of untangling our knotted-up hearts. If we were really brave, we tackled our angst about the years when we were on fire. We tried to find the heart of Christ beating, still, under the sticky, webbed Christian culture that had grown up over it.
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