This morning, for the first time in our married lives, we went church hunting.
The one we attended was a new congregation who had recently moved into an old, long-disused Anglican building. One church member proudly told us that the architect of the building was the same one who designed Liverpool Cathedral. So we were surprised to get inside and find that the church was relatively empty.
Empty of things, that is. The walls had been stripped bare and painted white. Chairs set out for the service took up only about half of the large room. Apart from the worship band themselves, there were no objects or symbols at the front- I don’t think there was even a lectern for the preacher.
As I sat at the back through the service- always half listening and half keeping my kids entertained- what really struck me was how this church had created a tremendous space. There was space for children to be who they were. There was space for the disabled members of the congregation, and space for their families and carers to meet their needs. Space to sit and pray, or to stand and sing. Space for hospitality; space for reflection. There was space for the church to grow, and change, and adapt. And filling the space with was a sense of warmth and welcome.
I realised that as a family we’re on a similar journey. We heard a call and answered it. In the process we felt led to leave our existing jobs, our house, and most of our things behind. In effect, we’ve stripped away everything that one would normally expect to have in a life, and I guess what we’ve ended up with is space.
And now, we wait.
Yes, C has a job offer in Missouri- but in order to take up the position he needs a visa. It could be weeks- or more!- before that comes through and until then, we are unemployed and living with the (ever patient) in-laws. If I let myself, I could really freak out about this. But I really hope that God has plans for this leg of our journey, and that we will have the faith to go with the flow.
If you are the praying type, we sure would appreciate your help during this time. Pray that the visa will come through at just the right time. Pray that our future church will be able to continue being patient with the immigration process. Pray for grace for the journey. And most of all, pray that God will fill this space of ours with warmth and purpose.
If you’re reading my blog for the first time, welcome! For more tales about our journey ‘on the way’, click the link below to the right titled to see the next post.