Good. How are you?, I respond without missing a beat or a step. If she answers, it doesn't even register.
The truth is that I'm not good. And I'm quite sure she is. She'd never understand why I don't want to be there. Right?
She seems to thrive in that environment. I get lost in it.
For the most part, I'm pretty sure I look like I fit: best clothes and smile on my lips. I go with good intentions in search of community. But I feel like a square peg in a sea of round holes whose histories are linked:
- My theology doesn't match.
- I live more in the gray than in the black and white.
- I'd rather learn from and share with others in blue jeans on a sofa with a cup of coffee and some cookies than in cushioned wooden pews and metal chairs.
- Just one among the thousands, I have questions about the sermon that I'll never get to ask.
- I sing the words, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and I think how He already has.
Almost every time, I leave with the realization that even though I've just spent two-to-three hours with thousands of people, I didn't experience community or commonality. I've simply played my part. I wonder how church in the four walls became less about relationships and more about role play.
And I wonder how many more secretly identify with my words here, but fear the hushing if they break the silence...