Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CROWD (07/06/17)
- TITLE: Accompanied, But Alone
By Lynda Schultz
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Artificial. Contrived. Manipulative.
If I didn’t speak to them at the beginning when I came in, I probably won’t speak to them at the end when I go out. I certainly didn’t choose to speak to them in the middle.
The invisible bubble that surrounded me when I entered the church exudes an aura—I hope—an aura that says, “Don’t touch! Don’t talk!” I didn’t come here to socialize.
I came here for some peace, a time to commune with God. Yes, I will participate in corporate worship. I want to sing with all of you. The sound of my voice coupled with the voices of others feeds my soul.
That’s yet another reason why I resent having someone break that bond of worship by asking me to say, “Hello, how are you?” or “Jesus loves you, and so do I” in the middle of seeking Him and His face. It smacks more of selfie than it feels like the sacrifice of praise. I want to focus on my Lifeline, not on those who, at this moment in time, seem more likely to drain from me what little bit of life that lies gasping for breath in the darkness of my soul.
It’s been one of those weeks—another one of those weeks. I’m exhausted. The chores have kept me running. The demands have sucked everything out of me that there is. I’m empty. Leave me alone so that the Spirit can prime my spiritual pump for what is yet to come—what in all likelihood will be another one of those weeks.
I appreciate the need to be with the rest of God’s family. I know I can’t go it alone. Though part of me would like to come into an empty church and simply sit quietly and contemplate the cross, I know I need the presence of others. But I don’t need to tell them my troubles, or to hear theirs. Perhaps later, but not now, not until I have something to give other than the expected, and often insincere, platitudes.
I want to meet God here. I can meet God here with all these others—if they will allow me. I want to feel their warmth and their worship, but I don’t need their worldly weariness, or their wordy wisdom. I need to be close to them but I desperately need to be closer to God. Only He can refill an empty tank.
It’s impossible for all the others to read my thoughts, or see my bubble. With good intentions they speak, they greet, they question, they comment, they share. I don’t blame them. Some only do what is expected. Others are sincerely people-oriented and only want to help. A precious few might even be angels of mercy sent from heaven to hold me close.
Later, please. Let me come in. Let the quiet embrace me. If you see tears wetting my face as I sit, remind yourself to call me on Sunday afternoon. Come by for coffee. Drop me a note. Even angels wait for God.
Hug me later, but pray for me now. I am sure that Jesus walks in the midst of all these people. He’ll find me. Just give Him a chance to mend my heart so that when you do come I have something other than a broken one to offer you. You probably need a touch too.
But right now, let me walk among the masses, but allow me to walk alone with God.
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