As this years lent season was approaching I began to pray about attending church. The more I prayed the more I began to feel the question pressing me… why?
Why do you feel like you need to attend a meeting?
What will attending do for your walk with me?
Why is this something you feel the need to do right now?
All my whys led me to take pause and sit with God again.
My hands have been tied one too many times in religious obligation.
Going “back” would be about acceptance and pleasing people. It would have nothing to do with anything lacking in my relationship with Father.
So, what then God?
What do you have for me during this season of lent?
God’s hand is all over the place. He is in the face of the homeless man you pass on the street. He is in the face of the mom struggling to get her children to listen to her at the mall. He is in the face of the mom who sneaks to the grocery store late at night so no one sees her using W.I.C. to pay for groceries. God is everywhere and yet we rush on Sunday morning to attend a meeting with people facing forward pretending everything is alright. Playing the part. Seeking acceptance and belonging in a place we are not truly seen.
Yesterday morning my son and I went out on an adventure. We started by watching the movie The Greatest Showman…I will spare you my review and tell you to RUN out and see it ASAP!! I love how cinema can show you how we as a society struggle to accept people who are different from us and how when we get what we think we want it is NEVER enough. The movie was filled with so many lessons.
Next up we went down to Seaport Village to check out one of my favorite artists who makes interactive art in order to uplift people and bring happiness to communities. Kelsey Montague is amazing and if you just look up the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou you’re screen will be filled with tons of amazing pictures of people interacting with her artwork all around the world.
We sat in adirondack chairs enjoying gelato and chatting.
I have reached the point in parenting when the days I have left with him are less than the days I have spent loving him and soon he will launch out into the real world and begin reaching for his own dreams. These moments I have with him are slowly slipping from my grasp and my heart longs to enjoy them with glee and gratitude.
You see everything has beauty but, not everyone can see.
I am choosing to see the beauty amongst the messy. I am choosing to chase after experience with my son instead of giving him a list of rules to obey in hopes he can tow the line as an adult. The truth is he will need to make his own path with God and my days with him can be filled with rules to follow or it can be filled with moments of me walking alongside him as he begins to engage with the world and God on his own.
The list of rules I was raised with ran their course long ago and finding freedom for this journey has been harder than I expected. My hope is he will have space to engage with community and invite God into all areas of His life NOT just his morning routine or Sunday morning worship service.
Recently I received an email saying, “You are one of the most non-religious people I know… and that is a continual blessing for me.” This email came at a time when I began to question (yet, again) if I had miss heard God in walking away from religious obligation. This journey does get lonely but, Father has given me an opportunity to see Him Beyond Sundays.
There is beauty in life outside religion.
There is beauty inside a building.
There is beauty in both and neither one is right or wrong.
“Everything has beauty not everyone can see.”
And I am better than okay with that truth!