In Common

ChurchEvery weekend, millions of people join the social phenomenon known as “going to church.” I am one of those millions. Each week, I attend church as part of a ritual that was established since I was painting diapers in the infant section of the church nursery. It is in my blood and my psyche.

However, lately I have struggled with it. The problem with church is that it is made up of human beings.

Since I am a human being, it is obvious that I am part of my problem. I have a hard time getting to know people, I am uncomfortable in large group settings without one or two people that I know. Having to decide who to spend time with is a burden to me, not a blessing. So much for being a community.

As a point of contrast with my previous post on ethnic diversity, today I sat next to a gentleman from somewhere in southern Asia (India was my guess). It was one of those situations where there isn’t enough room for a one-seat “cushion” between us. He had to sit right next to me, cozying up to my over-enlarged space bubble. He was one of a few people I couldn’t help but notice. In front of me was a balding mid-lifer, at church by himself. On the other side of the aisle was an elderly woman sitting next to a young hipster with an intentionally random hairstyle. It was a small but attractive picture of diversity, and one of the reasons I love our new church.

Indian guy couldn’t sing worth a lick, grandma was slow to pick up any song written in the past twenty years, and the hipster was probably wishing the acoustics were a little better in the chapel where we meet. But as we sang “Just As I Am… O Lamb of God, I come, I come,” I felt connected because I saw and heard in them the same need for God that I have.

I’ll continue to have a hard time getting to know people, but I am learning lately that if I look closely I will see that I am in common with those sitting next to me each week.

That just might give me the encouragement I need to say, “Hi, my name is…”

One response to “In Common

  1. Wow. It’s so easy for me to forget how similar we all really are. A man who is starving doesn’t care what color the hand who feeds him is. It’s the same for those of us who’ve realized our desperate need for the love of God. Just as we are, all in desperate need… the differences just fade away, huh? Thanks for the reminder, bruh.

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