Since my immune system is compromised because of treatments, I’m careful about being it small spaces with lots of people. It seems like there has been cold, flu, stomach bugs, etc. going on since January with my church family. It probably seems that way since I am more conscious of it. Most Sundays I skip Sunday School and then stay in the men’s nursery (which gets minimal use these days with no babies under 1 right now) during the sermon. I would rather be in the sanctuary but it seems when I do, I hear coughing and or sneezing around me and I’d just rather play it safe. I’ve had 2 colds since January and I’d rather not have anything worse.
This past Sunday after dismissal, I decided to just sit and observe for a bit. Mirrored glass allows me to look out, but no one can see in. It also means I can’t hear individual conversations where there are about 20 of them going on at the same time.
I watch the sound system guy close up the sound booth to leave. He serves the church’s audio/video needs in a most excellent way.
I saw dear people who have suffered losses, from those who have lost much of their hearing, thus making conversation in a crowd difficult, to those who have suffered the excruciating loss of a spouse or a child, and/or a parent.
As I observed one of the youth girls chatting with a Kids’ Club girl, they were joined by another Kids’ Clubber and another youth girl. The young girls gave hugs all around and they all chit-chatted some more. After a bit, the four of them walked off, arm-in-arm, “big sisters” mentoring “little sisters.”
There’s the friend who remembers I’m having a treatment this week (my last!) and requests prayer. And a sweet, nearly-two-year-old who blesses my heart over and over when she is delighted to see me and wants me to hold her.
Seeing all of the interactions, I forget that I was frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm in the singing that morning. I love to sing. I wish everyone loved to sing. I know it’s not everyone’s “thing.” Some people’s “thing” is encouragement through words, some people’s “thing” is loving up on kids whose home life leaves much to be desired, some people’s “thing” is being faithful in things that never hit the spotlight.
Every person is needed. Every person can contribute.
Sometimes it’s good to just observe from the back of the church.