Saturday, January 5, 2013

Crashing the Party

My experience last Sunday is actually the second half of a story. The first half was a little awkward, a little embarrassing, and is now the focal point of a new family story...starring me.

One of the ways I find new churches is by keeping my eyes open, and if I see a church as I'm driving, I try to make note of its name and then I go look it up. Some churches have websites, some have marquees with all of their information, some require a more personal approach. Sometimes, I get the wrong information or I get a little confused or I get the wrong time in my head and fail to double-check.

Crossroads Church has two locations, one that is close to an hour away and one closer to me. I've made two previous attempts to visit this church, once pulling into the close location just as the distant location would have been starting service and once pulling into the correct location but being a half hour behind.  I have a tenacious nature (I can hear my husband laughing now), so I determined that I'd try one more time.  I'd go during their "Wednesday refreshing" service. I have been wanting to try a midweek service for a while now, and decided this was the time.


I didn't take into account that this was likely a smaller church.

And I didn't take into account that it was the week before Christmas.

I also didn't know that there was a Korean congregation that shared the building with the church, but that ended up being a non-issue other than making me wonder if I would even be able to understand any service that was held (they were in a different part of the building).

As I walked up to the building, it was very dark and seemed very late in that way that only winter evenings can be.  I was about to leave, when I mustered nerve to speak with someone in the parking lot.  It was an older lady, and the girl with her turned out to be her granddaughter.

They don't actually hold service on Wednesday nights.

It's a Bible Study.

And that night?  Well, they were holding fellowship.  But they welcomed me, anyway, please...come in, come in.

Yes, dear reader...  I crashed their Christmas party.

These people fed me.  They welcomed me to their party and they wanted to get to know me.  This is a small group; there were maybe 10-15 people there, including some kids, and the kids went off into another part of the building for their own party.  We played Win, Lose, or Draw.  I am horrible at it.  They didn't care.

This last Sunday, just before the New Year, I attended this same church at the correct time, in the location I wanted to visit.  These people remembered me, hugged me, welcomed me back.

So I don't think it matters what the songs were.  I don't think it even matters what the verses were, though I wrote them down at the time.  Church service was small, with many people, including the pastor, on vacation.  But this is a church that acts as Jesus would have-- welcoming, loving, and being thankful just that someone came to share their love for God.

I am truly humbled.

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