This morning, my arms got chilly as I biked to work. As soon as the calender page blew up to reveal September, the wind responded by taking temperature down a few notches. Now I arrive pinkish and still cool. It's not blustery yet, but I'm gradually remembering what cold weather is like.
I work every other weekend. And almost without fail, as I bike at 6:25 every morning, I pass a biker going the opposite direction. And when I say biker, I mean a legit biker, with a ferocious road bike, decked out in a jersey, sun glasses and the I'm-a-serious-biker helmet. On the other hand, I look nothing like a serious biker - in my comfy work clothes, pink hippo Vans, with my big backpack on, riding a touring bike, but as we pass each other, he always give me a thumbs up and a nod. It makes my day every single time. It's kind of like we, two strangers, share a kinship. We're bikers - early morning bikers at that - and that gives us something in common. It makes me happy to belong.
I felt that distinct sense of belonging at church during worship last night. There are some people at my church who are crazy in love with God and it is so inspiring. The first seven rows are like the mosh pit of the worship service. :) One guy behind me was singing at the top of his lungs and I'm sure everyone in the sanctuary could hear him. His complete abandonment made me realize how silly it is when we're self-conscious in worship. It's about praising God, for heaven's sake, not about impressing our neighbors.
The church is a beautiful place. There are people who "look" more like Christians and those who look like they don't belong at all, but we all share something in common. We share a grateful heart of worship for a Savior who claimed us. The fact that we're all undeserving levels the grounds for judgement. We shouldn't nitpick at each other and fix each other up so we look matchy-matchy. We can come, dragging our dirty laundry and our messed-up attitudes and drop them all before the King and dance in his presence. He loves the mess. He finds joy in healing and reordering our messes.
Oh, the church is a beautiful place and you and I, we belong there.
Listening to Michael Buble - Lost