I think I've mentioned before that one of my Mom's favorite sayings is: "The devil always works hardest on Sundays!" This was always the case at our house growing up. Chaos reigned, tempers flared, and my Dad usually stormed off to church without us so he wouldn't be late for his Sunday School class. My Mom, Sis and I followed shortly, in not much better fashion.
This is still true today. As a pastor's wife, I'm a single mom on Sunday mornings. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge it at all. I understand my husband needs to get into "the zone" before worship begins. And, I know at 12:30 he'll be back to co-parenting with me. So, I have nothing to complain about. I've learned over the past several months to embrace the chaos on Sunday mornings rather than fight against it. Instead of rushing to early service so people can see me at both services and leaving my boys for three hours in the nursery which is too much for them, I let my boys take their time in the morning. Garrett piddles around till his little heart is content. It's not that it's easy, by any means, but not feeling the pressure to be "seen" all morning on Sunday has really helped.
That said, this Sunday was one of the craziest I remember, and it had nothing to do with the boys. The boys were up by 6:30, which meant we were ready to leave the house by 9:15. I spent fifteen minutes walking in circles through the house looking for the partner for my one black heel, finally locating it on the windowsill behind the sofa, a natural occurrence in our house. Shoes on, coats zipped, dogs kenneled, we began the journey.
About halfway to the church my oldest asked me, "Mama ,why do we have to go to church?" Hmmm... how to explain the importance of corporate worship to a three and a half year old? Anne Lamott has an absolutely beautiful piece on this in her book, Traveling Mercies. If you've never read it, you need to get it. It's one of my most favorite pieces of Christian writing. I could write a whole blog on Anne Lamott's work, but suffice it to say my little man was not interested in an essay. I summed it up by saying, "God loves us, so we go to church to tell God that we love him." I think he would have preferred an answer that involved playing with Thomas the Train.
Upon arrival to church, we saw a police car sitting out front. Now, we don't have any police officers in the congregation, so this got my attention. My first thought was that my husband had kidnapped another little girl--JUST KIDDING!! He did accidentally pick up a girl for our Wednesday after school program who wasn't supposed to be there, and the police did show up to the church, but it wasn't his fault and the parents said she does that sort of thing all the time. The real reason the police car was there was because a church member was experiencing chest pains. Pretty soon, the ambulance rolled in and my boys were just thrilled with that.
Chris gave up on preaching and led the congregation in a silent prayer time, running back and forth between the church member and the congregation. "Adapts Well To Change" is something that will never go on his resume! As God had it, there were three nurses, a physical therapist, and a nurse practitioner in attendance that morning, so the man was in good hands. In the end, tests revealed that it had been some sort of muscle spasm and had nothing to do with his heart. And even though service was disrupted, I think it became a pretty profound spiritual experience for those who were present. If anything, it brought this man and his family further into community with the congregation.
So in the end, the devil does work hardest on Sundays. Yet, the beautiful truth is, God works even harder. How comforting to remember in the midst of crazy Sundays!
Blessings and Peace,