We are told wherever two or more are gathered, there Jesus is in the midst of them.
I am an introvert. Saying it like that makes it sound as if I am saying I’m a leper or a hemophiliac, or afraid of heights. I am none of those but I don’t care for crowds. Define crowd? More than 3 people.
Strange, I used to be little miss party girl. I loved going en masse everywhere. Not an exhibitionist, just loved being lost in a crowd.
What happened? I became a mother. I became divorced. I found I had truly awful radar for choosing guys to date. Really horrible. So I threw myself into being a mom, into work, into deflecting ex-husband and ex-mother-in-law attacks (this took up maybe 6 years). I found my own interests, like I really enjoyed cooking, walking, reading, research, applying my abilities to the many different occupations I tried: travel agent (helping people create travel dreams), veterinary receptionist, legal assistant (this one I really did not care for), working as a temp when I needed shorter work hours to be home when my son finished school for the day. Then I became a librarian which I truly enjoyed because I found so many ways to help people connect dots in their lives, finish research, write books, find new authors to love, many things.
But I would go home at the end of my days and be so relieved to be away from everything. It truly was a sanctuary.
Ironically I attended a church of over 3000 members. This ordinarily might be daunting to one who avoided crowds, but this was an orderly crowd. Every single person was there for the same purpose. To worship, praise, sing and pray. And I could easily get lost in so many people, yet know where I was. With myself in God’s presence. There is anonymity in huge mega-churches. I was ok with that.
But a church where I am missed, a church where I have to be accountable to people who may or may not have the same relationship with my Creator, somehow this is uncomfortable for me. I need to be with God, but somehow corporately is not the same.
One of my favorite services I attended not long after I divorced. I went back to the Episcopal church I grew up in. The priest there had not been there forever, so though I had been baptized, confirmed and married in that church he knew none of that. He did not know my history. And he offered a communion service at 7 a.m., a short homily, prayer, a dismissal. There was something so significantly important about that service that I found quite meaningful. I miss that. The service was simply offered. I chose to partake. There was nothing contrived, manipulative or burdensome about it. It was freely offered, just like God presents Himself to us. We choose to join Him. Or not.
I loved that service. I loved the value of choice.