Any way, the day did not go well. The "sound guy" forgot to come. Therefore, we had 125 people in a big gym with no microphones. And much more heart breaking for an aesthetics person like me, no Christmas music. In trying to find someone to help with sound, there was no time to bring the Christmas trees and wreaths to the gym from the sanctuary. Again, probably a bigger bummer to me than anyone else. The lunch tables were beautifully decorated and the food was yummy. The storyteller delivered the beautiful story of Christmas, along with the gospel. But the crafts...oh the crafts. That was the worst part. I chose a craft that was much too time consuming for the hour allotted. As a result, the many women that volunteered to help the children were feverishly making Christmas pillows. That's right...PILLOWS. I chose pillows. Seventy five pillows needed to be completed, if you include the children's from my church.
And worse than that was the grumbling and complaining that I overheard from the women. I won't mention the comments, but it was bad. This was the worst part to handle. I will admit to anyone that I am just a tired thirty-two year old Mom of three young children trying to remember to wash the sheets every now and then and give my children a vegetable or two a day. At church, I am a volunteer like everyone else! The criticism broke my heart. If you are a pastor's wife, I pray that you can truly see this position as an act of worship, all done for your Savior and not for anyone or anything else. (I think of that song "I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name...)
When Jaybird and I got in the car he said, "Mama, why do you have to be in charge of everything at church?" As we drove home I had no desire to go back. Ever. I walked in the house and told my husband, "I am done! DONE!" The next day, Sunday, Lydie woke up with a runny nose. I was so thankful. For the first time in years I had no desire to be involved in "corporate worship". In defense and a feeling hurt as well, my husband said, "You stay home with the baby, honey. I think you've had enough church for the week."
So I pouted. All my sacrificial work and time away from family time and this is what I get in return? (Not to mention some other doubts.) God wouldn't let me stay in a funk too long. I think he is showing me the true meaning of grace...again. If I can't show love and kindness towards those who have hurt me without cause then do I REALLY grasp what He has done for me? I want to experience the gospel deeper and taste of its richness. Here is my opportunity. I prayed for those women. I know they are dearly loved by God, just like he loves me. I know that the church is not a "museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners." Slowly he is warming my heart with the power of His love and truth. I still hurt, but I believe in the power of Christ within me to set me free from anger and bitterness as I turn to Him. Being a part of the Body of Christ is not always a beautiful endeavor, even in the best of circumstances which is what I feel we have. But then again, I'm sure God could say the same thing about loving me. As C. S. Lewis says, "We are all fallen creatures and all very hard to live with."