I have started to think many of us view church, or Christian community, in one of two ways:
Let me start with the locker room. There are vastly different designs to the locker rooms my husband and I use at the Y. Mine includes stalls to dress, pee and shower in. His includes public urinals and group showers. (Why they are so different is for another blog…)
We women want to get in, do our business, not share our business with anyone and get back to work. We have to get our kids at the child care play room or race back to work, hoping our sweat won’t gross too many people out. My colleagues (READ: Calista) personally hate it when I leave the Y smelling worse than I came, shower or no.
A lady today get her clothes out of her locker in the public dressing area, walk into a stall to get dress and then walked out… privacy is key for her apparently.
Men go in, walk around nakey sometimes (I know you do!) pee together, shower in one another’s view, chat it up (maybe not so much) and think nothing of the quiet, private stalls their counterparts share mere feet away across the hallway.
Sometimes I think we wish our churches were one or the other: stay out of my business or here I am: deal. Boom.
I am a men’s locker room kind of gal. Last week, our friends arrived just after the service had begun. The mother and I had discussed a hair tie left behind by my daughter, being chewed on by her son and we decided not to mention it to Calista. The family arrived and quickly their 4-year old loudly declared to Calista that the hair tie was now in the garbage because her little brother had gnawed on it. It was classic: loud and bothersome to only our two families. Others around us probably were more interested in the missionaries sharing about their work in Western unreached China from the front!
I want to walk into church, have people ask me about my business (currently a chaotic topic that can bring me to tears or at least think seriously about chocolate IV’s) and walk up right to me. Even if I’m naked, sweaty or disgusting. Ask the hard questions. Deal with some raw answers.
Others, not so much. I recently heard someone say her neighbor had attended a worship service only to be turned off. “it was too personal.” I wonder if she’d rather have a women’s locker room experience: walk in, do your business, leave and maybe feel better but not engaging anyone around her.
So how about you?
Our family lives out loud. In the men’s locker room. Pass the soap.
Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.