Not 10 days ago I had a decent rant about the ‘other church’.
I should know better.
This Sunday I experienced the full force of reversal. The ‘other church’ was well-ordered, as it usually is, but with a message that was literally inspired ‘spur of the moment’ and a time of praying and opportunity to share words for people. It was a good time, and one that we enjoyed participating in, bar one song*. Made me feel a little ashamed and a little inadequate (yes, I have delusions of adequacy sometimes).
Conversely the community church felt like mildly organised chaos this week. Well, it wasn’t that bad, but the meeting had a somewhat muddly feel to it, as when people are feeling their way through, willing and open to get there but not quite sure where they’re going**. I don’t mind this kind of thing, but it really didn’t work for my mother or her (older) friend who found it confusing and nonsensical as they couldn’t hear or understand what was happening***. To cap it off, I ‘borrowed’ one of our friends in the ‘other church’ to play keyboard (she has a real gift in worship) and she carried things forward when I wasn’t really doing so****. There again, she is from Zimbabwe, so she was much less affected by the 30’C+ temperatures in the room.
So there y’go. Balance redressed.
* Neither Chris nor I can cope with the song ‘Blessed Be’ these days. It was a key part of our lives in the time when Sarah died, and it now produces a Pavlovian reaction in both of us. I can play it because of the concentration guitar requires, but I can’t sing it.
**I know it worked well for some people.
***My mother and her friend left part way through – they couldn’t hear properly and her friend became distressed by various things because of her unfamiliarity with them.
**** I awoke with migraine-like symptoms on Sunday morning with sharp headache and visual disturbances. It certainly wasn’t a hangover as I’d had 3 stubby bottles of beer between 7.30 and 11.00pm. My knees were also suffering from standing up so much, and lethargy was in full and awesome flow in my body. And boy, what a hot sweaty afternoon it turned into, sucking out any energy I might have had.