Posted by: pendrops | November 20, 2006

a messy bride


Sniffling. Coughing. Crying. Whispering. Laughing. Singing. Squirming. Blonde-haired, lively-eyed boys twisting and turning in their seats next to mom. A man taller than a small tree in front of me, blocking my view entirely. A woman to my right getting a neck and shoulder massage from her boyfriend. A baby behind me filling its diaper and squealing with delight.





That was my church experience yesterday. And I admit it: I was struggling. Struggling to not focus on the kid banging his dad’s keys against a wooden chair. Wrestling with distraction as the woman behind me sang “Shout to the Lord” in her own solo rendition. Fighting to dismiss the dangerous belief that I could experience much more effective communion with God in the privacy of my peaceful home, singing a few worship songs on my guitar, reading my Bible and praying.

It’s not the first time I’ve grappled on a Sunday morning. Why do I have to go to church anyway, I have asked before. Hebrews says don’t give up meeting together. Jesus prayed that we would be one. But many times, I can’t help sitting in the middle of a service, silently crying out, “God, I just want to focus on You, hear from You, worship You…and all these people are getting in the way!”

But yesterday, I caught a glimpse of the beauty in the mess.

I am just as much a contributor to the pandemonium as hyperactive kid, pooping baby, and loud-singing chic. Just as weak, out of tune, fidgety and weepy as everyone in the sanctuary – on the inside. I just know how to hold it together better – on the outside.

When I realized that, my heart settled down a little. I didn’t mind the noise so much. And I lost myself in the untidy sea of smiles, songs, and smells that make up a church service. The stuff that ultimately makes up the Body of Christ.

Coming together every week, even if it’s noisy and chaotic, says something. It says we are one, we are united, together we have faith in something. It’s good for me to remember that. And it’s good for me to sing, laugh, cry and believe with these distracting and distracted people, who are just like me.

In the commotion, God still spoke to me, which was all I wanted in the first place. And it didn’t have anything to do with the well-executed message or the powerful songs. He whispered about one of His favorite things: His Beloved, His Bride.



  1. Great thoughts! I needed that.

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