I went to church this morning in my bedroom. Well, in some ways I didn’t, because I believe church is largely (perhaps, primarily?) about relationships with other people, and also about service. But other aspects of what you hope for in church – that you’ll move towards awe, that you’ll learn something, that your perspective might shift with a kaleidoscopic twist and your view of what’s really important in life will sharpen – that was right here in my bedroom this morning.
I haven’t been in a physical church much this last two months (or this year, actually – our only English speaking church option in Laos is a rotating house church). My absence this last two months has been partly due to wanting to prevent Dominic from coming into contact with whooping cough in advance of his first shots, and partly due to the fact that some days the prospect of dressing both him and myself in presentable clothes and leaving the house still feels like way more hassle than it’s worth.
This morning Dominic and I stayed home alone again. Some mornings he goes down for a nap relatively easily, some mornings not so much. This morning, not so much. I’m trying to teach him to get to sleep solo by putting him down when he’s sleepy and letting him just drift off, but this morning there was no drifting. There was mostly being wide awake, and hiccups, and fussing, and general neediness.
So I picked him up. I sat down in the soft chair in the bedroom. I laid his cheek against my chest and just held him. At first I was too busy thinking about all the things I’d planned to do as soon as he went down (laundry! and tidying up! and insurance paperwork! and baking that crumble we’ve been meaning to get to for days! and writing!!). But, then. Then, I looked down at that round cheek pressed against a round breast, and saw how little fingers were curled tightly around my thumb and how two tiny blue eyes were gazing up at my face as I stared off into the distance. I smiled at him, and the corners of his little mouth twitched in response. It was a sleepy half-smile he gave me. The sort of smile you muster when you’re right where you want to be and all is happy and warm and soft in your universe. And, then, I paid attention long enough to remember, again, that this is the point right now. Not the only point, mind you, but one far too important to routinely come second to laundry and fruit crumbles.
After Dominic finally drifted off into a sort of semi-sleep I turned my attention to google reader on the laptop sitting beside me. Google reader has been receiving about as much attention as laundry lately – I’m constantly feeling behind on all the blogs I like keeping up with. So this Sunday morning, as Dominic dozed in my arms, I dipped into other people’s words, other people’s worlds, and came away moved, challenged, and comforted.
Here are a couple of the people and the posts I “went to church” with this morning and particularly enjoyed:
- Emerging Mummy: In which these are the tired thirties
- Rachel Held Evans: Do we have the gospel wrong?
- Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary: Things are good, for now
- NPR: WWII Survivor Stirs Literary World With ‘Outrage’
- Novel Rocket: Should reading fiction be hard?
- Joy in this Journey: Jesus in the fog – life unmasked
- Crumbs from the Communion Table: Physician, heal thyself
Have you found yourself in church anywhere unusual lately? What did you learn, or what were you reminded of? And, come back tomorrow for the continuation of the discussion we began on Friday about the most important quality in a marriage.