I just spent the weekend visiting the church I went to during college and I was greeted with big smiles and bigger hugs. Many didn’t know I was coming to visit, or even that I was back, so it was a huge surprise to them and super fun for me. Most encouraging for me was that the number one thing I heard as people were welcoming me home was: “I thought about you so much while you were gone, wanting to talk to you and wishing you were here; so I’ve been praying for you a lot.” So awesome. Because boy did I need those prayers.
Even though I knew that to be the case while in Switzerland and frequently anchorered myself to the sure but foggy knowledge of those prayers during good times and bad, I’m still awed by it now. I’m humbled by the big-ness of life that includes me but isn’t centered on me, reminding me of life’s connectedness. I’m connected to a bigger community amid larger happenings. Somehow, when the ceiling began to crack and it seemed as though the roof was caving in over my head, beneath the surface lay a foundation deep and strong. Life is happening beyond what I can see and feel and I am connected to it.
I’m fortunate, I know, because at the end of the day, regardless of the doctrines I disagree with and the things that really get me fired up and even down right angry, no matter what arrogant and shallow-minded, young, ‘We Know Everything’ attitude reveals itself in something I say or do, despite all of those things, we know each other. We love each other, these churches and I; it’s family and it’s home. There are endearing quirks and irritating entrenchments. We fight it out and laugh it off; we overlook certain things and agree to disagree. And it’s worth it. It’s worth putting up with and it’s nice to know I’m worth putting up with too.