The truth is, I am a little bit of a mess right now.

I tossed in my bed last night and cried for all of it.  All the hard, sad, broken, messed-upness of life.

Morning came too soon.  My seven year old was grumpy.  I was impatient.  For a fleeting moment, I considered hunkering down under a giant fleece blanket and calling it a day.

I didn’t.

Instead I bundled up my grumpy daughter and my impatient self and drove the both of us to church.  And this is why.

Because this morning six grown-ups stopped, looked into my daughter’s eyes, spoke gently and affirmed her as a valuable member of our faith community.

Because when I tried to sing, “It is well, it is well, through the storm, I am held,” no words would come.  Only tears.  And so I sat there and cried right in front of God and everybody.  And both the words that wouldn’t come and the tears that did were true.

Because listening to a roomful of people talk to Jesus all at once is pretty much what I think heaven will be like.  And all of those voices help me keep running (even when I am so very, very tired) because I know that the great cloud of witnesses is not just there, but here.  In this very room.

Because whether I like the songs, whether a particular sermon “speaks” to me, whether ministries are designed to meet my specific needs, whether we talk too much about money, whether worship calisthenics or high-fiving or panel discussions are my cup of tea, none of these matter so much.

Because I know, really-honestly-know in the very deepest part of who I am, that even when I am a little bit of a mess, church is as good a place for me to be as any.

That’s why.

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