I wrote this in church today. Not entirely sure where it came from, but I rather liked it and figured I might as well share since I’ve been so bad at updating lately.
Matthias is standing at the door, holding it open, waiting for me to come in and be a part. A humid wind picks up, tossing tufts of cotton through the air as the trees release their fluffy burdens. Matthias’ white robe snaps in the breeze, his sleeves billowing as they fill with warm air, his right arm still outstretched. His hadn holds the heavy wooden door that separates the world from the chosen every week for ninety minutes. He looks confused as I stand on the other side of the street behind traffic that races by in a hurry to get nowhere. He is confused because even from a distance, he can see my hesitancy, or feel it. Either way he knows somthing is not right, and though he cannot pinpoint what it is, I can see the worry in his face.
I watch families filter in, children hopping on the steps and dancing their way inside while mothers fret that they’ll fall and tear their Sunday’s best. Their fathers shake hands with Matthias and Reverend Mulaney. The new couple, recently married, comes in holding hands, clasped together and holding firmly to their newfound joy as they move foward in worship to God. Matthias greets them all, shakes hands, calls them friends and even hugs a few as they pass through the doors. But his eye always wanders back to me, stuck on the wrong side of hte road, unsure if I can take the steps that will put me at the base of the stairs and lead me inside to worship in a place that both welcomes and rejects me.
A bell rings from inside and I hear the music begin. Reverend Mulaney disappears into the dark interior shadows. I can almost hear the rustle of his robes as he moves to the front of the congregation through the cool aisles that are bounded by pews filled with faithful believers. Matthias still waits at the door, holding it wide for me. He is waiting. He thinks I am coming. He thinks he can simply wait longer and I’ll consent. My heart goes to Matthias. But just as well, my heart goes to the place where I grew up. And I am consenting to God’s great offer. But a part of that offer includes a life of service even in the places where I never thought to go.
So, with Matthias still watching, I turn. I adjust the wide purse up over my head to cross my chest and let the Bible inside thump against my hip as a reminder that I am only taking steps where I feel led. And moving in the opposite direction of traffic on the one way street, I walk away. Matthias is still watching. I can feel his eyes boring into my back, frustrated to understand why I would be leaving after standing on the corner, watching like one who longed to join in something she could not have.
But Matthias also respects me and trusts me–which is more than I can say for myself. Yet, despite my feeble faith, I am walking. And in fact, my strides have grown longer, more certain, as something inside me feels confirmation. I am out of sight of the church now, round a corner and apart from Matthias and his peircing gaze that always cuts through to my heart. My pace quickens. Suddenly I am running. The wind tangles my mess of hair that refused to cooperate this morning. Beads of sweat break out on my upperlip, am I sweating for nerves or the humid heat and the brilliant sunshine? My breath comes in harsher gasps, the Bible in my purse beats at my leg, but it only urges me onward. So I run. To or from something, I do not know. I know only this; the Spirit runs with me.