I went to the first service last weekend in the new part of our expanded auditorium. It's a real construction site with drywall dust floating around, exposed lumber, blue tarps, the smell of glue and paint...you get the idea.
And, I cried.
I'm not known for being soft, sensitive, sweet--those just aren't the words people use to describe me. And, I'm not known for crying. But, I did. Over a building?
I'm overwhelmed at the thought of more changed lives. The magnitude of desperate people in desperate times finding hope in Jesus. Finding purpose in the local church. Each new seat is a new life. A husband, a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a son, a brother, a sister...finding a safe place to admit they need help.
Tim is a friend of mine that works at Riverside Community Church in Peoria, IL. He shared PostSecret with me. Man, what an authentic, visual representation of the human condition. That's why I cried at the construction site.
I don't want to forget that. But, I almost did.
Tonight my husband and I had a meeting at the church. We left and went to a restaurant to try to steal just a few minutes alone together. We have three kids, we're both active in ministry and my parents have been living with us for a few months. We haven't had much time alone lately. We were just looking for a few minutes together alone for a quick little breath of fresh air. We sat down in the booth to steal our moment...
And, that's when she walked up. A woman that I barely knew 6 years ago for 6 weeks. She's waiting tables now. She was excited when she recognized us and was very chatty as she took our order. She hung around and didn't leave after she brought us our drinks. She kept making small talk and telling me about her kids and her schedule at work and her grandma and her new purse and...
I tried to overcome it, but all I could think was "Come on! I've only got 30 minutes to spend with my husband. Can you please give us some privacy. We haven't connected one-on-one for a week. We've got a lot to catch up on. Don't you have other tables to take care of?"
And, then, out of nowhere, she told us that her husband wants to leave her. She got tears in her eyes as she told us about how she feels alone and desperate. She lost her smile when she told us about how she hates waiting tables, but it's what she has to do to take care of her kids. She shrugged her shoulders when she told us about working on Mother's Day. She hung her head when she told us that her and her husband have no friends and she doesn't know what else to do.
And, I saw the empty seats in our new auditorium. There are two waiting just for them. And I remembered, it's not about me.