Today will be two months from the time that God started to do open heart surgery on my soul. It all began with a conversation we had that went something like this:
God: Are you willing to give every area of life over to my control, my dear?
Me: Of course, Father, whatever you want, is yours.
God: How about church?
Me: (getting nervous) What about it?
God: Would you go somewhere else if I called you?
Me: I will pray about it. (the standard christian answer for everything.)
God: (gently laughing) What do you think you are doing now?
And so it began, the slow painful process of God asking us to embrace a new directive. He asked us to go and after futile attempts to reason with Him, talk Him out of it, convince Him otherwise... we obeyed. Because He's God and that is what you do. Because His glory is far better than our comfort.
And so we wake on Sunday mornings, and put smiles on our faces, wipe tears from our eyes, and explain to our children, "we are going somewhere new today." And they don't have to know that on the other side of town their friends are playing together in the bright yellow nursery where they have gone from newborns to toddlers. They are young, they will adapt.
And so we ride our bikes to the local church where we've been called, where we shake hands with strangers, someday friends. And we close our eyes and sing familiar songs with unfamiliar faces. We attend events, and tell our story to the ones with kind eyes and listening ears. We risk being unknown and keep tabs on how one another is doing. We lean into God's Spirit... the unchanging, unfailing, in a constant in a sea of change.
We smile and take comfort from our children's Sunday school crafts, the ones with Jesus as the good shepherd and children as His sheep. Because they remind us who we serve. That He is not bound by church buildings, four walls, and large steeples... or by the familiar laughter of close friends. He is there, alive and well in the places we have never gone before. He is their God too.
And suddenly the similarities among us, far outweigh the differences. The most important things in our lives mirror the most important things in their lives. We resemble one another and I get the uncanny, Déjà vu feeling that we have met before, even though I know we haven't.
Because we know the same God. He is the familiar in the new faces we meet. He is the One who unites hearts, and lives, and stories together like a Master Weaver.
So for now we wait, and watch, and hope that He will soon give us a glimpse of His loom.
I am certain it will be beautiful.