I scrub my dinner plate, soap suds reaching up to the crease in my elbow. They’ll be singing worship songs now, but I don’t belong in a worship service on a Thursday night.
Because there’s nothing like a room full of Christians to remind you how little you’ve thought of Christ lately.
Sunday mornings can be the same.
When I was a little girl, the twins would save me a seat at the front of the church. I still remember the way they sang, belting hymns from the second row. I could never match their volume.
“Religion–my a**.” She spat on the soccer field in front of me when I was fifteen.
That’s when the weekly glimpse of the cross-centered red brick building started to cause my stomach to churn. Breathe. Breathe.
I couldn’t hold my own on the soccer field. How could I go to church and sing beside the twins?
And on a Thursday night, I can’t bring myself to worship with the other twenty-somethings because I’ve spent the past five days thinking more about basketball than Jesus.
I’m a fraud if I stand in the second row of a Christian service and cheer for anyone other than the MVP of the Raptors.
Because sometimes church can make me feel like I’m an actor in a terrible dramatic production.
But it’s not as obvious if I just stay home.
Then there’s the tiny group of people who meet in an old public school and it’s a bit like a family reunion whenever I visit. Dave’s always in his Sunday best, Steve in bare feet behind the pulpit.
“It feels like family,” she tells me after we finish eating ham sandwiches in the gymnasium.
An odd assortment of misfits.
Because Sunday morning isn’t a trial on who is good enough to belong in a pew. It’s a reminder that our seats have been saved by the only One who deserves to sit in them.
Not even Dave in his Sunday best deserves a seat with the saints.
The reason we fill them is because of the cross on the wall at the front.
Because He fills them.
With misfits like Peter the denier. And Paul the persecutor.
And that’s why I set my alarm on a Sunday morning and walk through the doors and try to choose a seat that’s not in the darkest corner.
To remember why I don’t deserve to be there.
But also why I am.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone…” Ephesians 2:19-20