Some people drive by on Sunday mornings and see the church parking lot filled with cars, and they think church looks like kids with their shirts halfway tucked in, hair mostly combed, still rubbing sleep from their eyes. Like women carrying Bibles and men wearing ties and uncomfortable shoes, and who would want to spend a Sunday like that?
They glimpse through the windows as they pass by, and think church looks like standing for the hymns and praying with your eyes closed. Sitting through the sermon while glancing at your watch counting minutes until the benediction.
And while it might look like those things from the outside on a Sunday morning, church looks like so much more.
It’s the pastor who offers to help you move to a new apartment, and spends his Saturday standing on the toilet scrubbing mildew off the bathroom ceiling.
It’s the deacon who notices that your kids’ bicycles are broken, goes to the store to buy parts and fixes the bikes himself.
It’s the man who comes early to the prayer meeting on Wednesday nights to play roller hockey with your kids in the church parking lot.
It’s the friend who hears that your monthly fundraising support was low that month, and takes you grocery shopping.
It’s the women who gather for lunch in the middle of a work day to pray for those who grieve.
It’s the people who join hands and give your family enough airfare to fly across the Atlantic to visit your terminally ill mother.
And no, the church isn’t perfect. Far from it. We step on each other’s toes and we fumble the ball, but grace picks it back up again, and we keep running.
And while fill the pews with combed hair and warm smiles, most of us sit there with scraped knees and bruised elbows from multiple spills on the concrete. We have holes in our hearts, and we’re missing limbs. But we take the battered limbs we have left, and we link arms, and we love.
Because He first loved us.
What does church look like to you?
Heart photo credit: David Goehring, Flickr Creative Commons