Going to church exasperates my loneliness. For the small local church I try to attend because it has depth in its teaching, adherence to the Word, and compassion in abundance, is also especially keen on a 15-20 minute meet and greet fellowship smack dab in the middle of service.
I understand why they do it, I mean it is a beautiful way to capture visitors and make them feel welcomed and introduced to others, also mothers of small children have an opportunity to fellowship without feeling like they need to scamper away and gather them up as they would at the end of service, and like many Southern California churches, its congregation is spread far and wide, and many travel considerably to be there. Some also have many children in tow, and if you know anything about getting many little ones ready for church, you know that you frequently just make it through the doors as the first hymn is starting. Therefore an extended meet and greet, before the long and luscious sermon, helps to get the wiggles out of both the young and old.
So I can see how it is a really good thing for the congregation as a whole, but for someone with social anxiety, and an ever increasing sense of panic when away from home, it is excruciating. For the pause in the proceedings, and the need to be social, manages only to intensify my unreasonable feelings of separateness. This makes me lonely and upset, and when I get upset, the sadness creeps out from where it is perpetually lurking in the shadows of my mind….sigh
Thus I find it is on Sundays that I most miss a partners presence at my side. For then I was not alone, I was part of something and could rest in their care and protection. Regardless, I refuse to dwell on the past, for that was then and this is now, and this just won’t do, this continuing absurdity of trying to attend alone, because truly, on the Lord’s day I want to rejoice and be glad in it, not be in dread of fellowship.
So instead of pretending anymore, I should just do what I do on the Sundays I manage to give myself enough lame excuses to stay home. I go out of doors, into the world God created and declared good, put my hands into the earth, and let it rejuvenate my soul. While all the while marveling and praising the wisdom and goodness of God, for giving us such a wonderful world to care for, and at the end of the day, I am much better rested and uplifted because of it.
Ps. Bat Bunny is eating the tender young wildflower plants before they even get a chance to bloom. Still I planted them for her to eat, so I’m getting what I intended I suppose 🙄