I love going to church. Worship music moves my heart like nothing else. Good preaching guides me and leads me in my daily walk. Poor preaching teaches me to be gracious and reminds me that I am prideful!
The thing I love most about church is The Church. I don’t mean the building, though ours is nice. I’m not referring to the order and style of our service, though I enjoy that, too. It’s the people. Oh, the people!
As the service let out and people meandered toward home yesterday, I found myself surrounded. I had ladies on all sides. All reminded me of their prayers. Most gave me a tight squeeze or a pat on the back. Meals were offered, and one dear soul pressed money into my hand. I felt so loved and cared for. I looked across at my husband and saw that he, too, was being shown love–in a more brotherly manner.
It is my privilege, my blessing, my honor to be treated this way. A line from one of my favorite songs comes to mind. “I’ll surrender to the power of being crushed by love.” Love isn’t always easy to accept. Sometimes people press into your private places and you feel pushed against a wall. But oh, the power of that love! When I surrender to the outpouring of love from my Sisters and Brothers in Christ, there is such joy–such relief. Burdens are shared. Sin is revealed–and forgiven!
Here’s the hardest part, at least for me: in order to experience this outpouring, I have to be in a position of need–and wiling to let people see it. Vulnerability is a valuable commodity; showing my weakness is costly to my pride and my sense of self-sufficiency (also pride!).
Since unknown need is difficult to meet, the amount of “coming-alongside” I receive is directly proportional to my willingness to be vulnerable. When I let down my guard and admit that I need others, it frees them to walk with me and minister to me in ways I deeply appreciate. It also frees them to be vulnerable in their need, and allows me to be the one helping and serving. It’s a duet.
You see, the beauty of the Body of Christ is that, even though we are all on different roads, we are traveling together. Sometimes the journey is a vacation filled with laughter, joy, and spectacular views. Other times, it is a sheer cliff, and one of us dangles while the others hold on for dear life.
I want to be the foot washer, not the one with dirty feet. I am finding there is so much blessing in both, and one can’t exist without the other. Learning lessons like this is part of the purpose in my current journey. Some things can’t be learned in the classroom–they have to be experienced in the field. God give me the grace to be a good student.