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Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday--Historic Day

Yesterday was my fourth Sunday morning in a ROW where I pulled my slug-butt out of bed, got dressed and went to church—I have two more weeks to fulfill the commitment I made to Lori, my counselor, to attend six weeks in a row, but I’m thinking about keeping it up. Amazingly, I’ve discovered I sort of like going every week. Like I’m part of a community.

Anyway, I’m sure my record attendance isn’t what Pastor Matt meant when he said yesterday was a day of history for our church. You see, they (the church staff) have been building up our Easter service for a while. Made up little cards that look like business cards and pitched a film they touted as comparable to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. If I’m being honest—and you guys know I am—it wasn’t even close, but it was still pretty cool. We wore 3-D glasses and when the earth shook on the third day and the stone split, it sort of looked like you might get a rock in the head like you’re Goliath and David just wielded his sling. It wasn’t quite duck-worthy, but it was still pretty great.

We had communion and I didn’t fall over dead, like Rusty had been worried about the week before, although I did have a headache all day, but today is fine, so I think I’m good.

At the end of the service, the worship pastor, who is also the pastor pastor’s wife sang My Redeemer Lives—the Crystal Lewis one, not the Nicole C Mullens one. I get a little lost when Aimee sings. For a couple of reasons. First of all, she’s a super great singer and I’m a bit of a picky listener. But mostly, she’s honest. And when she sings, she invites you into the experience with her, instead of just standing with a mic and making you feel like you should be grateful she’s condescending to sing for you—like that Jessica girl on American Idol right now—don’t even get me started.

When Aimee sings words like, “Though my flesh may be destroyed, yet with my eyes, I will see God”, chills travel down my spine and I imagine standing at the throne of God and actually seeing his face and I get carried away. And that’s where I was yesterday when the song came to a close and I reluctantly opened my eyes. Everyone was standing—except me—and I felt like a jerk. I didn’t want Aimee to think I didn’t appreciate the way she opens her mouth and bleeds her heart into the congregation every service.

After that, I thought about standing up but I didn’t for a couple of reasons. 1.) My legs were feeling a little weak from the experience I’d just had with God while she sang, and 2.) I was wearing three and a half inch heels that quite frankly scared me. And 3.) usually, pastor tells us to have a seat while he wraps it up. Only this time he didn’t so I sat there feeling like a creep and sort of hoping no one around me thought I wasn’t moved.

All-in-all, it was a day of history. One that had nothing to do with whether I went to church or not. 13 or so people decided to become followers of Jesus—which always stills my heart to this place of holy awe—Jesus drawing a soul from darkness into light through His great love for humanity. I am thinking about those people today, wondering if they woke up this morning and feel new. I was so young when I gave my heart to Jesus I hadn’t had time to be really wretched yet, although, I’m sorry to say, I’ve made use of plenty of opportunities since. I think when you come to Jesus as an adult, it makes you more determined to be a better follower. Miss Linda came to Jesus as an adult and she went full-tilt, without looking back. Personally, I think Miss Linda should have a class for all new believers and teach them how to follow Jesus without looking back.

And also, we broke an attendance record by about 200 people. 1200 in all. My sister’s church in Opelousas, La. also broke an attendance record. This is their second anniversary and they had over 700 in church yesterday. I like that. I like when churches like mine and my sister’s are plowing into communities and meeting needs. It’s how Jesus did it.

As the service ended and I walked out, I kept thinking about Aimee and the song and how I didn’t stand up and I wished I would have, but then again I’m glad I was so caught up in God that I didn’t know everyone else was. I smiled and talked to a couple of people and a woman named Lisa, who I don't know super well, but I like a lot, actually said she read my blog and liked it and that made me smile a little. And also surprised me because I always assume as the number of hits go up on my blog counter that 90% of them are my mom.

And then I saw Aimee—who is beautiful in a down-to-earth, girl next door way that makes all the men jealous of Pastor Matt and makes the women just want to be like her. Which is the way Pastor wives actually should be in my opinion. She wore a teeny tiny diamond stud in the crease of her nose for awhile, but eventually took it out because she got so much crap for it. Which was tragic, because she has the kind of nose that is perfect for a nose ring. I have a bulbous nose and would never draw attention to it with something shiny, but I liked hers. But I guess when you’re in her position you have to weigh the pros and cons of things like that.

She stood there and I didn’t talk to her because Aimee is one of those people who is always on the move at church. She’s about her Father’s business on church days. It’s her job and calling and she walks in a sort of focused daze that some people are offended by but I think is more endearing than anything. She can walk right past you, look at you and not know you’re there. So I didn’t say anything. Because I didn’t want to impose on whatever she was thinking about—which might have been food because I doubt she eats breakfast on Sundays—having to sing so much and not wanting to burp into the microphone—plus she’s there at the crack of dawn to start preparing for two services.

So anyway, Aimee caught my eye and gave a little smile. Reached out, took my upper arms in her hands and gave them a little rub, then walked on. And so did I. And I walked out of church feeling loved and noticed and like maybe she understood that sometimes words aren’t necessary and actually, most of the time they cheapen the moment. And I didn’t feel bad about not standing up anymore.

So was it a day of history? I think so. 1200 people in church, 13 new Christ-followers. A 3-D movie that had never been shown before, that was sort of cool.

And for me, I was faithful for one more week, I imagined I saw God. For sure I felt Him reach into my tiny space in a big building and love me, and let me know He gets how much I love Him too.

And I think that’s what church should be: a little bit of history every week.

1 comment:

Frances said...

Beautiful, Tracey.

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