I have mad love for the Church. She's my home, my family and my forever-future. This week it was joy to witness my dear Relate Church host a women's conference. We flung those doors open and welcomed women from every variety of walk and background. The platform was graced by many wise, engaging friends making much of Jesus. I was overwhelmed by the words sung, spoken and proclaimed. There was confetti and chocolate and tears. Hundreds of photos were Insta-posted, quotes tweeted, notes scribbled. It was the best of times.
Can I tell you my highlight, though? For me it was easily all about the church family surrendering schedules and preferences to serve. The ones in the back room wooing nap-deprived toddlers and those lugging garbage to the dumpster. The silly-late nights and dark-early mornings and the whispered prayers and the smiling parking lot host running toward me with an umbrella. The friends boldly bringing guests and the teen boys in bow ties serving lunch.
I love The Church. I adore my church. She's imperfect, indeed, but she's jammed with good.
No one promised the good life would be easy.
The promised land, milk & honey sweet, it's for those who seek. Its wide open spaces welcome the traveller, those who journey, the life-invested.
It's for the brave ones who show up today. And again tomorrow.
They press on, despite fear.
They're marked by commitment.
Faithfulness defines them, loyalty their fragrance.
A legacy people clothed in borrowed strength, His armour.
They step aside to accommodate and serve without entitlement.
They boldly hope, and sing with abandon.
They're a refuge for the mourning, healing for the weak.
They embrace, include, exhort.
They're alert for the Voice, the Heartbeat, the Compass.
They're steady. They are there. They are us and we.
My people are the wild ones who keep turning up, keep trusting and keep serving as though it just might make a difference. Because we've had a taste of the good life. And it's worth showing up for.