I once overheard my husband say, “my wife’s the churchgoer of the family.”
If only my husband knew how many times he has been lifted in prayer to the Lord. I have thanked God for my husband’s glory. I have begged God for my husband’s salvation.
So many times, I prayed silently while we embraced. Sometimes, it has moved me to tears and nirvana. A release of mind, body, and soul as I marvel at what love can do.
I have held my husband in my heart.
Yet, I have failed to provide a steady rhythm along a lighted path to God. I have fallen short. You see I am a churchgoer because I don’t always get it right. I fall! Short! I go to church to remind myself to do better, to be better, to carry Christ all through the week. Week after week, after week. I need to hear the message again and again. I find my strength in the pews, in the Word, and in fellowship. I find my courage to be audacious and say, “I pray for you!” Church is where I need to go so that when I leave, I have a heathy spirit. This light then shines in me. After church, I am clean again. I am ready. I am reminded. I am full.
Our church tells us to “be” the church. Our buildings are not where the work is done. Communal worship is a tie that binds, but it is not the necessity or the entirety of a Christian life.
COVID-19 emphasized the point! Close our churches! Yet, still we preached, still we gathered, still we prayed. And we prayed and we prayed. We reconnected in the building, first gathering on lawns. Then our doors were open and our alter was adorned for in-person display. And the pandemic wore on. It went on past the expectancy of duration. We had a cure, yet the pandemic wore on. More people died. So, we reclosed our doors, we returned to streaming online.
The building felt less important somehow. We gathered united separately in the comfort at our homes. Technology connected us. Fellowship was not lost. We had our simplistic praying hands. We typed our thoughts and prayers in the comments. We prepared our own communion and filled ourselves with the body and blood. The refrains and responses were sung and spoken, heard only by the dog.
I am the churchgoer, so you can recognize me. I shower and dress and do my hair and make-up; I put my faith on display. My friends and family learned to not invite me to Sunday morning activities, because they knew I already had plans. But I must be the church, seek the truth, walk in the light, live in service.
I am the churchgoer in the family. I have held each member in my heart and lifted each unto the Lord. Yet, this is because I am weak, not because I am strong. Yes, I am the churchgoer in the family. This is my quiet way of leading. I do not drag my family by their arms. When they stay away, I pray. When they join me, I rejoice, and still I pray.