Hiding From People In Church

She was sitting in a little space that had a wall on the left. She couldn’t be seen by many people in the church. Holli and I sat down in a row directly in front of her.
I didn’t really notice how close we were until, I looked around and there was maybe two feet between her and us. Seeing that, I spoke and we chatted a little. Then, I guess I felt comfortable talking with her and I said, “You kind of hiding from people here, aren’t you?”
She smiled and said, “That’s the idea.”
I replied, “I was kidding with you.” Then I introduced myself.
She introduced herself and then told me some of her story. She worked at a local restaurant. The Pastor had been in to see her a few times and invited her to church. ‘She said that at one time, she didn’t have a car but she had one now and she could drive herself to church.”
She said, “I’m sort of an introvert which is why I sit here.”
I looked at her and said, “I understand. I’ve been there.”
No, I’m not an Introvert but there was a time when I sat on the back row in church. There was a time when Holli and I went to church but I didn’t want to talk to anyone… I just wanted to worship.
That’s how this lady felt… she wanted to be in church…. but she didn’t want to talk to anyone. She didn’t want to lie and tell someone “everything is ok,” when for her, it wasn’t. There are lots of people like this lady. They have been wounded by life… maybe even wounded by a church.. They believe in God… they want to worship but they don’t feel like talking to everyone. Talking to people means smiling and maybe it’s hard for them to smile. So, they sit in the back… sorta hiding.. wanting to worship but not wanting to talk to people.
Maybe you are like that lady. You are hurting. You have sworn you will not attend worship again… you’ve had enough of church… but you believe in God so you worship at home.
If you are hurt, I hope you know that Jesus loves you. Jesus cares for you.
Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest…” (Matt. 11:28-30).
There was a time when I didn’t understand the back row… But I do now. The back row is often a place for people who are hurting… They believe in God… they want to worship God… but they don’t want to get tangled up in the crowd… So they sit as far back as they can.
Jesus loves us and wants to meet us where we are…. whether it’s front row or back row.

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