time for homecoming, but we can’t stay here

Last week Kimberly and I visited West Gate’s new campus near my house. I was hoping for lightness. A lift. Comfort. I walked away with peace and a feeling of being grounded and founded in something. But it wasn’t what I had hoped for, and thats okay.

So often we’re looking for an opiate. A cure. A magical fix. I spend hours every week flipping through recipes and pinterest posts searching for something insatiable. Something that will qualify me to be a magnificent chef, tasty, but that won’t add a single calorie or gram of unsavory fat to my waistline. That special trick that will preserve me to be cancer free and running marathons at 82. You know, magic.

I made the mistake of going to church – an imperfect institution led by imperfect but well meaning people – looking for a sign that I was going to be okay. The sermon was titled, “We can’t stay here” and I thought – BAZINGA, this is going to be good. The good Lord has made this part of my experience today because he is going to bestow upon me a sign that everything is going to be okay. Hallelujah!

Wrong. The sermon was about acting more Christlike, which really means “stop being judgy in front of the non-believers”. A good message and a necessary one – except for the reason to do so was that the Church was being seen in a poor light because its followers were jerks. Didn’t much care for that extension.

All of this taught reminded me that I already know what I need to know. An affirmation of my own capacity to be discerning, strategic and trusting. As nice as church on Sunday morning was, I didn’t need to sit in hard chairs to be redeemed – all I had to do was rest in the relationship that I started long ago. I didn’t need to chant along to songs about “bowing down” to the being that I’ve grown to know as someone who is more of a Jiminy Cricket than a Tritan. I just need to create space to listen and trust.

At this time next week I’ll be slowdancing with my tuxedo clad nephew at my brother’s wedding. This whole journey has made be both crazy and homesick. October usually brings nostalgia to the forefront. The sunsets and the chill in the air and the friday night football games do that to a small town girl. Ever thankful for our small but mighty clan, I wonder if I’ll make it past the sight of my grandfather’s flag carrying the rings without tearing up.

I’m feeling a bit more lost than usual, but beneath it all I know exactly where I am.


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