I went to church on the water...
I went to church on the water last week.
Not in a church pew. Not singing hymns. Or with a Bible in my lap.
Rather, I found God under the sun's quiet summer rays. Holding a sleeping baby in my arms. Counting my blessings and whispering my prayers.
We are expected to meet God in the church pew. We are expected to meet Him in prayer.
But, so very many times, we meet God without ever even knowing. Because, so very many times, we aren't looking. He seeks us, and we unknowingly discover Him again--a secret blessing, all our own.
Sometimes, church takes place right within the moment that speaks to our heart in faith. Without a congregation. Without a hymnal. Without a pastor or priest.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him, unable to sleep--under the moon's light but before the sun peeks through with her radiant light--thinking no one else in the world is feeling the way you do in that moment.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him, finally exhaling from the overwhelming day of the stress behind you, on your drive home from work.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him in the weary, comforting arms of an equally-tired spouse, at the end of a trying, tearful day.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him in the midst of changing the stain-covered clothes of a curious toddler, who spent the afternoon making mud mountains.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him amidst your U-turn on the way to church. As thoughts of shame flood your soul, having missed out for far too many years.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him, arms wrapped tightly around a heartbroken teenager, trying to piece together a shattered soul.
Sometimes, church is meeting Him, tears-streaming; on weathered knees, hiding in your bedroom closet.
Church finds strength in numbers. And church funds hope in solitude.
In the beautiful. In the broken. In the sorrow. In the grace. In the forgiveness. In the thanksgiving.
Church can be found anywhere we hold a moment forever in time with God.
Anywhere our heart meets His.
Because God? God meets you where you want to meet Him.
Where you need to meet Him.
Where you think He cannot find you,
for anything on this Earth.
And, our Father?
He will come to you 100% of the time. No questions asked. With grace-filled arms. And unconditional forgiveness.
He finds you in your glory. And He rediscovers you in your shame.
He seeks you through your unbearable pain. And wipes your tear-stained cheeks.
He shields your fear of others' judgment. And having all eyes on you.
He pursues you through your darkest hour, when you question whether He even exists. As thoughts of shame flood your soul.
All while whispering to your weary heart that He knows.
He understands. And He will never for once leave you.
There is not a moment when He doesn't meet you. And, never for once, does He require a church pew, for that meeting to take place.
Because His absolutely favorite places to find you, are those moments when you very least expect to encounter Him—in the quiet and unexpected—in the broken and the lost—and in life’s messiest moments of all—just between you and Him.
No questions asked. Always and forever. For an eternity to come.