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Church as a Rain-forest!

By Belinda

Last Sunday was steamy and Ontario was officially in the middle of a heatwave. 

As I mounted the brow of a country hill on my way to church, I saw people sitting on either side of the road on lawn chairs. Wearing t-shirts, shorts and hats, and holding flags limply at their sides, they were waiting for the swarm of serious cyclists in spandex, labouring their way up the other side of the hill. As I drove past them I gave thanks for the air-conditioned comfort inside my car.

I had slept in that morning, my first at home after several busy days away, and I arrived at church late but not rushed. After so much activity, I needed to slow down; take things gently and recover a little. 

The parking lot was full and had the hush that parking lots have when everyone has already arrived and gone inside. I parked in the row farthest away from the church.

Across the road, gravel crunched as a car pulled into a driveway while a dog barked a staccato greeting or warning.

Like the wail of a lost child, the whistle of an approaching train hung in the air, mournful and lonely, fading into silence as  I mounted the stairs to the church doors. Now the sound of singing wafted out on the air.

I was entering the church, an ecosystem as fragile as that of a rain-forest.

The oldest rainforest in the worldAdd a new soul to the mix and the dynamic changes; lose a person and initially it feels like an amputation. I guess that is as it should be if we are a Body as in Romans 12:3-12 (The Message)

The relationships within this living organism are complex. We are together because of a common faith, but might never have met one another if not for that. We are so different--and we need to be if we are a body, otherwise we would look like crazy Mr. Potato Heads with our parts all mixed up or with too many hands and no ears.

My time away left me reflective and seeking to know the part God has called me to, more precisely. I long to be a fully functioning body part, doing what I was designed to do. I think that when we understand our purpose and function, we won't feel burdened but joyful, as we serve the body with who we are. God is making it more clear to me what that is and I know that in order to say "yes" to that thing, I need to say "no" to trying to be all the things I am not.  


violet said…
I love your description of the church as an ecosystem. Great metaphor that fits on so many levels.
Belinda said…
Thank you dear Violet, who I missed at Write! Canada this year. I just checked out your blog Promptings. It's great!
"know that in order to say "yes" to that thing, I need to say "no" to trying to be all the things I am not."

Now there's a skill I need.
Belinda said…
Oh, Dave, it becomes all the more important when you are approaching the ancient age that I have reached. I am listening to the book, "The Power of a Positive No," for the second time around. It is SUCH a good book along these lines.
How often I think this while sitting in church and looking around or hearing the many voices singing! A fragile yet beautiful ecosystem, yes.

This sentence "the hush that parking lots have when everyone has already arrived and gone inside" is especially wonderful. Not sure why that struck me. Maybe it's that you paused long enough to pay attention to a ordinary thing.
Belinda said…
Thank you Marilyn. I'm glad I captured that special feeling well enough to convey it!

Yes, the eco-system is much on my mind right now. So much to think about and write about if God gives me words.

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