I was with my sister-in-law and another friend last weekend for a Memorial Day girls’ weekend. We went to the church where Christina was preaching Sunday morning…it was pretty traditional and the median age was somewhere near 70. The service was good, but I left there thinking “I don’t speak this language anymore.” Certainly I know the language, and I’m fluent in it, but I don’t speak it anymore. I’m not comfortable with it anymore. And the more I thought about that experience, the clearer a new image became. I’m standing in front of a cathedral door that’s been barred (from the outside) and I’m turning to walk away from it. Now, part of me was thinking about how I have felt locked out of the church for so long. But it was also brought to my attention that someone from the outside (most likely me) was the one to bar that door so as not to be able to enter.
Perhaps one day I’ll be ready to un-bar that door and enter into the church again. At this point, I do still go to church…because I’m trying. I really am. I just don’t know where it’s going to go or where I fit in the picture. I don’t even know if church is a place where I can be who I truly am, every dark and twisted square inch of my being. The bottom line is that I’ve grown to a place that scares a lot of people, and most people aren’t willing to go there with me. Which is OK with me. I’m not asking people to go where they’re not comfortable, but by the same token, I shouldn’t be asked to stay where they are.
The picture here wasn’t quite what I was looking for, but perhaps became more fitting. The sign reads “Mind your head.” Maybe that’s what I’m doing by walking away…finding my own way, trying to work out my own salvation in fear and trembling in a way that works for me and is true to who I am…and perhaps even truer to who God is. But perhaps we should all put that sign on our church doors to remind people not to check their brains at the door, but to step inside and love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. For that is the greatest commandment.