Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Church Search

We haven't attended church in the last two weeks... Even though we've been given the name of a church that we both think we'll probably like, we haven't gone.

It feels like we're trying to push this huge enormous SUV-sized rock out of a crevass to get to church... to visit some church where we don't know anyone... to put on the smiley face of the happy shiney Christian...

I asked Jake why it's so hard. He said it's just so much work.getting up and getting ready and going someplace we don't know anyone... I admit he's been sick for the last month. (What is it about men? Why will they never go to the doctor? Even if I make an appointment for him, he generally just doesn't show up... Is it about admitting that you have something wrong? or noticing that something's wrong? What is going on in your brains? In the 2nd year we were married he got sick, and just got sicker and sicker and kept working and finally he ended up with pneumonia, laying in bed for almost a month with our doctor threatening hospital time...)

And he said it feels like he's no longer blessed. I think I know what he means. I don't know if I can explain this... But I'm going to try. Since getting serious with God at the age of 17, I've felt His presence. I'm not talking about some touchy-feely weird spiritual type thing. It's more like my heartbeat. When I put my finger on my pulse, I feel it there. When I exercise or run, my pulse gets faster and stronger. Sometimes the Holy Spirit living inside me is louder & clearer- when I'm reading my Bible, when I'm singing "amazing grace" in church, when I read something like Philip Yancey's "What's so Amazing about Grace?"... But that pulse, that sense of God's presence is ALWAYS there.

Right after we left the church, after this whole mess happened with the pastor, I couldn't sense that pulse. Like God was silent. Like He was gone. What I had to keep reminding myself during that time is that He is always there. Even when I can't sense Him. I LOVE reading the Psalms and realizing that even the "man after God's own heart" went through times when He couldn't feel God, when He felt abandoned- "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?" Psalm 13:1 While I was questioning Him, He seemed so quiet... I had to try and see Him in the things around me, the faces of family & friends, the small graces in a day.

Anyway, Jake is having problems in his job right now- and I think he feels abandoned. Things are feeling pretty dark to him right now. Like God has removed His presence, His blessing from his life. And the search for a church is tied up in this dark cloud. So, we'll see how next Sunday goes...

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