I went to church.
Tried out the new one in my neighbourhood. The Village Church meets at Chando's at 4pm,which works out perfectly with my Sunday schedule of sleeping in til noon, then sitting in the sun for a few hours.
(I am a slug.
A wrinkled, tanned slug.)
I think I would've been the oldest person in the building if my mom hadn't come along. So she was. The Oldest. (Although, tonight at dinner the server thought we were sisters, so there's a good chance that while she may be older, I LOOK older. See comment above re: tanned slug.)
It is a young church.
Next time I go, I'll sit farther back.
I just said, "Next time I go..."
I guess that means I'll give it another try.
It's been so long (7 years) since I've gone to a neighbourhood church. This business of driving 4 minutes to get to a service was awfully convenient. And, like I said, the timing is good.)
It was Missions Sunday, and this week they interviewed two guys whose passion is India. They shared their stories. Their own personal stories. And the stories of people in India who have had their lives turned upside down because of the work they are doing there.
Haha. Oh India.
You are going to get under my skin and into my heart, despite my best efforts to remain indifferent.
(Re-read this post from June 11, 2012. I wrote it on the Monday after The Weekend My Life Changed)
Which is what today's service's theme was: Unlearn Indifference.
Not surprisingly, however, I was most moved by the music.
As per usual.
Words just slip in and take hold regardless of your circumstances.
I didn't know any of the songs.
Nothing was familiar.
But the lyrics that went something like, "I will go where God will shine... angels will point my way" has stuck with me.
And the words, "love bears all things, love believes all things, love hopes all things, and love endures all things..." gave me something to chew on, so to speak, all evening.
It is so bleedin' easy to love good, happy, obedient, loving, kind, acceptable, healthy behaviour/people. But. Love bears, believes, hopes and endures all the messy stuff to. All the unlovable, unkind, hurting, broken, hurtful things too.
That's the challenge right there.
To love even when you don't want to. Even when it sucks. Even when you're hurt. Even when they don't deserve it. Even when they probably won't love you back. Even when it's lopsided and unfair and doesn't make any sense.
At 7 pm I was in New West at an NA meeting, celebrating 3-Year-Cakes with two of Max's friends. This is his Village. These are his people. This is where he goes to get filled up.
I am grateful to be allowed to sit in.
Seeing I was at a funeral on Friday, that whole service is still quite fresh in my mind. And tonight's Cake reminded me a little bit of that event. The difference being, of course, that the person being honored, is sitting in the front row and is very much alive. As people share, they look the guy in the eye and talk directly to him, "You are a special person. You helped me through a rough patch. I'm so thankful for you and the impact you've had on my recovery. Etc."
That's so powerful.
Face to face, eyeball to eyeball, specific public declarations of gratitude.
These guys? Know how to express themselves. They are not vague in their gratefulness. They remember events, occasions and conversations and remind each other how important their community is.
And he mentioned how much he needed/relied on his friends this weekend; recovering from his wisdom teeth surgery 'n all...
Other guys shared too:
- If you're lost and wandering and need to work on your life, look around. Watch how others do it. And become friends with people you admire. Choose your companions wisely. As they go, so shall you.
- Are you thankful for your family and friends? Do something about it. DO SOMETHING. Like, make an effort to express your gratitude, in a way that is sacrificial.
- Work things out. Let it go. Forgive them for being douche-bags. Laugh again. You need your friends. So quit pouting.
- And the one that I especially loved? Was from a kid I'd never met before. He was 10 months clean tonight, "which isn't a big deal, really. Especially in light of the two 3-Year-Cakes tonight. This? Isn't even my usual meeting to attend. But I wanted to be here. To let you know (and he points to the 3-Years-Clean guys (Max and friends) in the front row, that when I was just a few days clean, I came to this meeting and watched you all. I saw your friendship. I saw you celebrating clean time. I learned how to 'do this' by keeping an eye on how YOU did it. And I knew I wanted what you had. You inspired me. You still do. And that's why I'm here. To say thanks. And to be an example to anyone here who's just starting their journey. Three years may seem like an unobtainable goal ... so maybe my 10 months is something to shoot for."
The world is watching.
People are watching.
That person, at work, in the mall, at the theatre, on the beach, in the car next to yours, in the chair across the aisle at the restaurant, in the line-up ... that person? Is watching you.
Not in a creepy way. But in an interested way. How are you doing life?
How am I doing life?
Am I who I want to be?
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Night walks.
2. Inspiring days.