Okay, I admit it, I was an idiot today. Two days after finding out our in vitro cycle didn’t work and I think, ‘Oh, I’ll go to church.’ I get there and realize there is a baptism today, splendid. So I make sure my seat is behind a post. Fine, my mask is cracking, but if I dig my nails into my palm hard enough, the tears will wait until I get home. Great, there’s Mrs. So-and-So, is she still pregnant? No, there’s the infant carrier; she’s pregnant with #3. And there’s that cute family the Whosits. Yes, the middle one is finally walking; just in time, so Mom can carry the next one. They planned their pregnancies so she could wear the same seasonal maternity clothes. I can handle this. I think my palm is bleeding, good thing I wore black. Now it’s time to stand up and sing, “God is Here.” If He is, and I am becoming convinced He is indeed a “he,” let me at Him. I have a few questions, a few choice words for this God that claims to love me so much.
And then it happened.
The liturgist stood up and lied to the whole congregation, and no one said a word. After the confession and a moment of silence, she stood up and announced that all we have to do is “Knock and the door will be opened to you, seek and you will find, ask and it will be given to you.” Well, I left before my comment of “Bullshit!” could be heard above a whisper, and before the sobs got too loud. I know everyone saw that I was crying as I left. It was too close to the outside to hide. I found I didn’t even care. Half of me wanted to turn around and scream, “Don’t believe her! It’s a lie!” Sadly, the proper minister’s wife in me prevailed and I just kept walking.
I made it to the ladies’ room before the loud sobs started. I realized that I hadn’t really let it out yet. I emptied half the box of Kleenex while my best friend came in to find me. She knew exactly what had set me off, and completely understood, as always. She hugged me and gave me the keys to her church office. I told her that I didn’t even know why I came to church today, it’s not as if God and I are on speaking terms right now anyway. She said, “That’s fine, God probably doesn’t even know what to say to you today.”
I love her.
Another friend came a few minutes later; we cried together and laughed about silly nothings until we realized it was well after the service had ended. Another friend met me on my way out the door and asked me how things were going. We wept together right there on the church steps. Members walked by and said hi as tears streamed and we smiled hello. Again, I didn’t even care if people saw me crying. Family and friends sent emails and phone calls to say they loved us and were thinking of us. Friends rock.
I realize now, at midnight as I write, that God was with me, all day. Angels from all over surrounded me, in the form of Becky, and Peg, and Katie and Marcia, and all the people that reached out through the phone and the Internet to hold me while I cried. They stood with me and shook their fist at God with me so I wasn’t alone in the pain. They offered no easy answers or hollow philosophies, just shared tears and shoulders to hold each other up. I still don’t understand, and I’m not ready to talk to God in anything but a scream yet, but I’m sure glad I haven’t been given up on. I’m glad I went to church today. Who knows, next week I might even make it to the sermon.
Draw or describe your picture of God today. Be honest; God is big enough to handle it!
(Space will be provided here for readers to journal.)
Remind me again how much you love me. In the silence, help me to sense your presence. Open my eyes to the people around me that love me, and give me the courage to reach out. Amen.