aaah, vacation Bible school week. where i have various and sundry responsibilities. i write the opening skits, perform in them, take pictures, make a slideshow dvd for wednesday night, and conduct the dismissal. i have carved a little niche of doing all my favorite things in one week... one very busy week of vbs.
i fell in love with our church durning vbs week 8 years ago. we had just moved back into tallahassee after our season of insanity (well just MY season of insanity) living at the beach house for 6 months. if you missed out on knowing me then, you missed your chance to obtain a doctorate in therapy. enough said....
now you have to know that when we moved back to tallahassee, i was NOT going back to the church i grew up in. i was NOT (and we know how God loves it when we make ultimatums). but i would help with vbs there since i wanted all the kids to go somewhere that wasn’t messing up my unpacking for the week. and yes, i would help out at vbs because as you all know.... saying the word NO gives me hives.
and during that week of vbs, i fell in love with the bride of Christ that worships at first baptist church.
many of the same men and women who taught me as a child in sunday school are still teaching sunday school and vbs. that is a long walk of obedience in the same direction. that is a faithfulness to God’s work that i wanted to know about. it truly was the example of so many godly older men and women that drew me into this church. they knew me, they loved me, they saw me grow up and know they were holding out their hands and i placed my babies in those hands and it felt right.
i love that it is a downtown church, that it is so diverse in people. i love that it has so many programs for college students and for internationals. those are two groups that are very transitory and will never make a difference in the bottom line of the church, and yet, the church invests much in them. i like that.
there are a lot of things wrong with my church. what is most wrong with the church is ME. i do not tithe enough (or cheerfully enough), i do not love enough, i do not serve with a grateful heart or most of the time for the right reasons, i gossip (too much), i live for the praise of man not God, and about a million other things (feel free to list them in the comments section). but what is so right about the church is that those people LOVE God and they LOVE me and my family.
and they are wise, so wise....
yesterday i was talking with one of the older women in the church who was on a break from teaching her class at vbs. she was asking how my dad was doing and i was telling her how great he was doing. i was telling her how we were keeping him sooooo busy. we were keeping him fed by having him for dinner a few nights a week. he was picking up grandchildren from petite players, school, soccer practice. he was going to baseball games, recitals, and the occasional dentist appointment with grandkids. we were calling, dropping by, taking out to shows. he has friends taking him to dinner, lunches, outings, he has friends calling, writing, dropping by. he is busier than ever.
and then i paused and it all hit me....
and i said, “but i don’t think it is enough. i don’t think we are enough.” and i started to cry.
i am daddy’s girl. and i think i should be enough. really, i should be TOO MUCH for anyone. i am the portrait of excess, of over the top, of TOO MUCH ALREADY. why aren’t i enough?
i hate to see him sad, i hate to see him lonely, i want to fix all this. i like to fix things and do it all by myself and get all of the credit....
i expressed some of those thoughts through tears to this woman who has watched me grow up all these years. who brought food to the hospice center. who most likely stayed up late into the night praying for our family many nights. a woman who has lived a life of service to God, to her church, and to her family.
and she put her hand on mine and looked me in the eyes and said, “honey, you aren’t enough, you never will be. but God is.”
that is why i love my church.