My Church

I went to church Sunday. It was a church I was invited to by a friend. It’s close to my house. I pass it every time I go to the grocery store. So I went. It was one of the churches I tried to go to last Sunday when I wanted to talk to God. I know I don’t need to be in a church to talk to God, but sometimes it makes me feel better. It was a small church and an even smaller congregation. It wasn’t like any church I had ever been to before. It was more like a bible study. It was good, but I didn’t feel moved. I didn’t feel the way I think you are supposed to feel at church. I didn’t feel at home. The message was good so I know God was there. The preacher lady talked about unconditional love and loving someone else more than you love yourself, loving them the way God loves us. And she talked about The Song of Solomon. And the whole time all I could think about was Toni Morrison’s book of the same name. And another book that I read called the Dirty Parts of the Bible that I think was also about Solomon. And, of course, I was thinking about Joe. I’m always thinking about Joe. But when I left, I didn’t feel that calm or that peace that I needed to feel. I didn’t feel that loving arm wrapped around me that you expect to get from going to church. Isn’t that what people expect? Otherwise, why would you go? So after I left the church, I went to the River. It’s always my go to spot when I need to think or pray or meditate. It’s peaceful and calm. I got there and I kicked off my shoes, rolled up my pant legs and put my feet in the water. I turned on some music and laid back on the dock to watch the clouds pass by and to talk to God. I was only there for twenty minutes or so before rain clouds swept in and the sky opened up, but it was fitting. It was like the weather was mirroring my state of mind at that moment. And I just laid there letting the rain baptize me until I realized it was baptizing my phone too and decided to head back to the car. So I came home. After a couple hours, the rain had passed and I wasn’t done at the river, so I went back. Same thing. I walked to the dock, kicked my shoes off, laid down under the clear sky, and talked to God. And again, out of nowhere, the sky opened up and poured down on me. Maybe it wasn’t out of nowhere. Maybe if I watched the weather, I would have seen it coming on the Doppler, but I didn’t. So I got up and came home to a beautiful rainbow on my street. And for the first time all day, I felt the way I expected to feel when I walked out of church. I was calm and at peace and full of renewed energy and faith. I’m hopeful today will bring news. Better than that, I’m faithful it will. I am still asking for prayers for Joe and for his brother Michael who is not handling this very well. And I’m trying my hardest to stay positive. The crazy thing is that it is easier than I thought to stay positive. It’s actually easier than I expected to stay faithful. I don’t know if it’s because, despite not having a “church,” I’ve always had God and I’ve always had abundant faith in the nature of things. I believe in a grand plan. I believe everything works out the way it is supposed to. I believe in the bigger picture. And I’ve never thought it was my place to ask, “why?” Plus, I feel like if I did, I would just get the answer so many parents give their children, “because I said it’s this way.” So even though I don’t like the answer right now, this experience has changed me for the best, I think. And I will wait patiently and faithfully for the plan to unfold even if I don’t like or agree with the ending. I just keep hoping all those people are right when they say, “God never gives you more than you can handle.”

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