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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Worship (05/03/04)

TITLE: Welcome Back
By Nita Frazier
05/06/04

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Welcome Back
I went to church today. Not to the one I call my own but to a friend’s church. I didn’t go to worship or pray. I went to view a Girl Scout program.
As I walked into the cool depth of that unfamiliar sanctuary, I sensed a presence more lively than the giggling Girl Scouts. God was there.
I longed to drop to my knees on the red carpet. My eyes traveled up and up, to the top of a plain wooden cross nailed to the wall. It seemed to say, “Welcome back.” Not , “Where have you been? Why have you stayed away? But a soothing, “Welcome back.”

It’s been so long since I visited with God in His house.
I let hurt feelings and pride interfere with our relationship. That horrible year of 1999, My aunt, a nephew and a grandmother left to go home to God.
God was the first person to offer a shoulder to cry on.
The people of the church I attended didn’t send a card of sympathy or even call with a sincere, “I’m sorry for your grief.”
I stayed away from formal worship services. God cared for me, but his people didn’t.

Now inside this strange church I felt Him nudging me to lift my hands in praise and sing “It is Well With My Soul.”
I’ll be going back to church this Sunday, to the one I call my own.
It no longer matters that His people didn’t reach out to me in my time of need. It matters only that I spend some time with God in His house. Though all houses are His. I need to meet him in the one I call mine. I need to forgive and be forgiven. I need him to hear him say, “Welcome Back.”


Member Comments
Member Date
Marie B. Corso05/10/04
Nita, you can tell you know good grammar, form, and spend time with the written word. Your story is so good! I hope your church has changed for the better and will love you back.
Corinne Smelker 05/11/04
I am not sure whether you have ever heard of, or read, "Living Prayer" by a man named Robert Benson. Your style reminds me of his, and so does the theme. I would recommend the book to you, you might enjoy it.
Melanie Kerr 05/12/04
Well written. People are so imperfect in churches and out of churches. I have experienced how uncaring people in churches can be. It simply says to me - be the person that does care. Be the person that does notice and look after the people that hurt.
Naomi Deutekom05/12/04
Well done. I discovered that if I loved my church, they learn to love back. You never know!
B Price05/15/04
thank goodness when we been gone from chruch GOD arms are always there to say "Welcome back".
IT GOD we go to church for, not the members of the church.