There’s a lineup at church …..

Sunday morning, and the air is just the right amount of crisp. The sky is the bluest of blues, the sun is shining, it’s the beginning of a new day fresh with possibility.

Traveling west ward, the expanse of the Rocky Mountain range is before me, covered in snow, and the view is exquisite. I felt grateful again to be here during this season. The holiday season brings a plethora of emotions, and they swirl about and around me like a blizzard. Sometimes I’m caught in the grief, and can’t see my way forward, and amidst those feelings, the blue sky will appear, and with arms reaching I take hold of the joy that is dispersed . The joy is like snowflakes, with their intricate, and individual patterns, each unique and special. Give me the eyes to see the glory of the season that surrounds me.

I am traveling south now towards Lafayette, where I will attend the 9:00 service at Flatirons Community Church.

Whoa.. what lineup. There are traffic cones, and police cars directing traffic. They are slowly and methodically directing us towards the parking lots. These people are all waiting to go to church. I ain’t lyin, there’s a lineup to get to church. Yes I reiterate again, these people are lining up to get into the parking lot… to attend church. Something special is happening here, and they don’t want to miss it. This is different, and dare I say a tad on the unconventional side.

It feels like I’m going into a rock concert, and there is an enthusiastic throng that surrounds me . I’m struck with the awe of this occurrence. People are getting up early on a Sunday morning of their own volition to get to this church service, not because it’s a duty, but because they want to know more. They are hungry for it. Starving for hope…the need is real.

This church is not typical . When I’m here I feel at home . I park my car, and with a slight hurried walk saunter towards the building. This church is in a strip mall , so that right there is unusual . There are families, and couples, teenagers, elderly folks, and single people of all creeds and nations . In this place, all are truly welcome. You can feel it . You belong. Nobody stands out. We are all the same, and we yearn to be a part of a community of humans doing life in our separateness, and yet drawn together by this person.. Jesus. What other reason would we all be here?

Greeters are at the doors with smiling and lit up faces . I meet my friend at the fireplace, which is a good rendezvous place. There is a multitude of folks grabbing fresh coffee, and bagels. . In this place they can get fed, physically and spiritually.

The pastor here is full of energy, and he speaks quickly , and excitedly, often falling over his words, which he then apologizes for, and promises us all that he is really still on his ADD meds. What strikes me is his honesty. There is no pretension. He invites everyone to come and hopefully,

” bump into Jesus” as he puts it .

The music from onstage makes me want to sing …every time. It seriously is like a rockin’ concert. I love it. People are spiritually hungry, and looking for something different, something to fill up their hearts with more blood flow, just needing something real . It is a place to belong. My friend saves me a seat with her family . I belong somewhere. We all do . Nobody needs to be left out.

I hugged her and told her how much it means to me to have a place sit as a single person. That act of kindness fills up my heart . Isn’t it the rawest of the heart that cries out to be with your people, to belong, to be wanted and loved. To have a place at the table . This is God’s table . Everybody is welcome . Such a great unwinding …to just be accepted.

It’s such a basic desire. One of the loneliest walks for me is attending church alone . I don’t want to do it. There are so many triggers that affront me when I’m there alone . Being in community is a necessity, it’s not a luxury.

Christmas Eve Service, and I almost didn’t go. I didn’t want to go alone, and yet I knew I wanted to go . The push and pull of my humanness, against what I knew would be a fulfilling and encouraging time.

I couldn’t get the windshield washer fluid to dispense on the drive down, so I was peering through a plastered on dirt speckled windshield. Not the smartest or safest move.

As soon as I entered the building, again I was stunned at how many people were in attendance. This church has many campuses. They have a ministry with those incarcerated at Limon Prison. This church is committed to serving one another .

The bass begins, and it ‘s beat matches with my heart beat. Our eyes are drawn to the musicians and singers on stage . It is dark …Then with a thunderous noise, this word is on the screen, larger than life, ” REJOICE “… and the band breaks into the familiar Christmas song, and many join in. We are celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus, and all that surrounds it.

We rock out and sing to a few other Christmas songs that have been given lots of extra musical accompaniment . I am so glad that I am here.

Why is it that the things that we fight hardest against to not do.. are in fact the very things we should do . The things that will feed our souls, and encourage our countenance we try to run away from. It makes not one fleck or speck of sense.

I drove back home, but not before trying to pop the hood of my car to refill the windshield washer reservoir. But.. pop it, I could not, so I drove back with the same filthy windshield, only now, a slight bit more filthy. Stubborn much . I could have stopped at a gas station, and asked for assistance, but you know the answer. Nope, I did not it.

I sometimes think I may be a little like a belligerent two year old who keeps shaking off his Mother’s hand, and saying in a stern little voice,

“No… I do it myself.”

Well.. how’s that working out for you. This is my rhetorical question.

I asked my son when I returned home if he could help me refill the washer container. We popped the hood, attempted to fill it.. but.. it was full.

I sat back down in the car, just to prove that I was not in the wrong, and pushed on the wiper blades. The squirts of blue fluid that emerged from the sprayer felt like mockery . It taught me a lesson . I was willing to drive with a dirty windshield to and from church, instead of asking for someone to help me in my predicament. What kind of crazy am I? Don’t answer that ..

Last night as we came out of the movie theatre, the snow was coming down . It was absolutely magical outside, if not for the fact that we had to venture home with all of the others in these treacherous conditions . It was slick out and so we drove with caution, and also defensively, in case there were crazies out there on the road with us.

Getting out of the car at our destination, I was filled with gratitude. I had prayed for safety out on the roads, and the journey was a little bit of a nail biting experience, but we had made it. Time to let out the staccato breaths, and let my breathing return back to normal .

The air was quiet, the sky was dark, and the street lamp glowed an orange haze on the big fluffy snowflakes that gently joined the ground. There was the scent of a wood burning fire in the air. I lifted my face towards the heavens, and let the fluffy flakes tickle my nose, and land on my cheeks, before sticking out my tongue to taste them. Home at last . The memory of the challenging drive was a thing of the past, because we were at our destination.

Taking a walk this am, was a challenge. The path had only been plowed part of the way, so I, in all of my wisdom, which could fit on the head of a pin indecently, decided to go rouge… and forage ahead.

Whoa.. that was a workout. I was huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf, and there was no house of sticks in sight.

It dawned on me that the path ahead of me was smooth and inviting, not a mark on it, enticing me forward.

It looked promising, as if anything was possible . Sure there were curves, but nothing to be fearful of.. just expectation.

I stopped, to look back at my footprints.

Where I thought I had been following the right path, and close to where I thought I wanted to be, was not so . I had veered way off course. But.. at the time, it felt so right, and I felt so secure in my steps. Interesting to reflect on.

I was out of breath, so I decided to sit for a spell, and found a bench near an open pond. The Canadian geese, and the ducks were keeping company on the two open and circulating pools in the pond. It was a tranquil sight. I realized that often times, I’m so concerned with getting to where I am going, that I have tunnel vision, and don’t stop to enjoy the incredible scenery that surrounds me .

Le voila…. The Rockies on a crisp snow clad morning

Can you imagine missing this sight? Majesty is the only word that comes to mind.

Let the sights and the sounds of the season linger.. Jesus is here with us in it all .

Below is the link for the “Christmas Eve Service” at Flatirons Church in Lafayette, Colorado.

8 thoughts on “There’s a lineup at church …..

  1. Beautiful  Jill! I love the way you write – captures every emotion! So many life lessons here❤️❤️🙏🙏Sent from my Galaxy


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