This is church:
I sat in the corner chair, nestled between two walls and beneath a lamp, and I sifted my tired fingers through my wallet as they chit and they chatted. My brain was a fog; 8:34 pm and my mind, body, and soul were calling for bed. My fingertips swept over something and I looked down: two one dollar bills. I pinched them with my thumb and pointer, pulled them out and waved them around, "I found $2! We can get snacks!" We had just cleared both of our fridges of what was left and put it all together to eat a meal together. But snacks are fun.
It was then that we each began to turn out our pockets to see what we could muster together. Ready to dream of the salty and savory and sweet and sugary snacks that could potentially be tasted tonight, we wondered what we could purchase together. We threw all we had onto the coffee table and we counted those precious coins and dollars. $14 collected from the [what we falsely believed] empty pockets of 5 beloved human beings. The bank accounts screamed empty but Truth shouts rich and wealthy, all that we need, enough and more.
As we emptied our pockets and our wallets I silently prayed thanks, we counted coins with anticipation, I could not help but think, "this is church."
We threw on our jackets because Oregon spring air through the clear nights are unpredictably chilly. A sprinkle here and a star there, we walked our way from one parking lot to the next. Strolling the aisles and tasting with our imagination, the possibilities were endless: puffins cereal, chips and salsa, ice cream, granola, what treat do the five of us care to eat?
We settled on the sweets and the savory. Purchased together as if we were family; what we had was theirs and what they had was ours. We shared with rejoicing, no complaints, only giving. Not one withheld their gifts and their goodies. As we sat around the coffee table that was emptied of dimes and nickles but full of snacks, we talked about things we are grateful for. Gifts bestowed by the King.
This is church.
We gather and we eat, we share what we have and we don't hold back; all because of Him. We talk about why we are thankful, because let's face it: sometimes we are so stuck in the rough tides of life that giving thanks is the last thing on our mind. So we help each other. We lend a hand, a listening ear, a prayer, our money even if it's dimes and nickels. It's times like these when the logistics shout "Panic" but He gently whispers, "I am here, do not fear; I have overcome. I am your provider."
When I stared at those coins, those dimes and nickles, all I could think was, "This is church. Thank you, Jesus, that this is your plan, your way."