Just a little over a year ago I quit working in a church. There are many reasons for this change in my life but mostly to finally pursue a lifelong dream of telling stories through the artistic medium of motion pictures. After working IN a church I needed a break from going to church.
This was strange to me as I felt I hadn't actually gone to church in several years. I'd instead find that each weekend as the assemblies would begin and through to their end I would be working.
I'd work alongside other pastors and volunteers to make sure doors needing to be unlocked and doors needing to remain locked were as they should be. I'd deal with the many needs of people there to worship. I'd do a lot of everything other than sit in a room in contemplation or worship.
About six months ago... I can't remember exactly when it was my friend Lisa invited me to join her and Cynthia for church on a Sunday morning.
I was nervous. Not because I was scared what the Episcopalians would do. More beca sue it had been so long since I'd been to church just to be at church.
In truth I've probably had conversations with Lisa for a combined total of less than five hours. We've gotten deeper than many other conversations in that minimum amount of time but still, not a lot of time.
To this day I'm tender when I walk into a church. I'm not entirely sure why.
It's a feeling and a sense I'm still trying to understand as I do some internal book keeping and reflection.
This morning, as our minister spoke on love I was overwhelmed with Lisa's presence next to me. At one point during a duet from two women from somewhere in Europe I laid my head on her shoulder. For a moment I felt as though I was sitting next to an older sister I never had. She reached over and grabbed my hand and I felt acceptance and love the way all of us seek out so often.
Lisa Preston is a person I daily want to know better because if this is what it's like for a guy who knows her very little I can't imagine the depth and joy that could come from a more personal friendship.
Thank you Lisa. I am blessed to call you my friend.