This is community.
Walking into church last night, I achieved one of my Lenten goals : get to mass on time. Since Lent fell this year during my recovery, I took more personal, and potentially smaller sacrifices. And yet, this one has not occurred 100%.
When I landed in my pew, I knew that I was seeking some answers. Half way through mass, though I was paying attention, I thought, “hmm guess no inklings today”.
I then turned my focus to Fr. Michael and his impassioned homily on the need for us to welcome others and save judgement. We don’t need to assume we know everything about Lindsay Lohan or our neighbor down the street. It’s not our job. Being good to them is.
A family of 6 sat in front of me, with the youngest toddler passed out on her dad’s shoulder. As she stirred, she was past from family member to family member to keep her comfortable and allow all to focus.
During communion, the organist bellowed a haunting beautiful Irish hymn that could easily have been played at Carnegie Hall.
At the end of mass, Fr. Michael stopped and mentioned that the pint-sized server had just completed his first mass and the whole congregation broke out into applause.
One of my favorite poems, Irish no less, was read at our blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
So these glimpses of my hour at church left me with the wisdom that this, these moments right here, they are community.
This is huge for me. Someone who has lately struggled with going to church alone, of not fitting in, of not having people I know in the pews with me.
With a grateful heart and skip in my step, I walked out of the doors.
Did I get my answer? No. Did I get what I came for? Yes and so much more.