I sat in church this morning with a heavy heart, with a burden on my mind, but I did my best to fully engage in worship with as much joy as I could muster up.Then I went on to do my best to track with my pastor as he told us how Jesus chose to be a servant.

And then I looked around the auditorium and I realized, yet again, that I was not the only person with something weighing me down. It was as if I saw one of those cartoon conversation bubbles over each person’s head and they were filled with things like, “I just lost my job two days ago,” and “my teenage daughter is pregnant,” and “my fourteen year old decided to get drunk last weekend,” and “my husband hits me,” and “my wife is leaving me”. Yes, gasp, in the church.

We put on a show. We walk in, take our seats, engage in orderly worship, sit still and keep our mouths shut during a well-packaged service, then we walk out, maybe get a cup of coffee or exchange pleasantries and keep on walking to our cars, heading back home to our lives. Our real lives. Our lives that may be completely messed up, completely out of control, utterly hanging on by a thread.

And maybe we have to. Maybe there’s no room or no space for us to be rip-open-our-hearts real on a Sunday.

But, Lord, I hope every person in auditoriums across the country this morning who went home to a real life that is unimaginably difficult is clinging to You and has at least one someone that they can share it all with. Because if they don’t have You and if they don’t have a friend, I don’t know how they will get through whatever they’re having to get through.

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