One of my favorite treats is going to bed after an incredible sporting match and waking up the next morning to find a great article written about it. That moment the night before gains strength and flesh the morning-after as you hear someone else retracing the same steps you took throughout that experience. It validates something that you were hoping was larger than life. It punctuates, putting a period on that piece of time.
Yesterday morning, this happened in the best of ways. After watching a little stretch of the Australian Open, turning it on just in time to hear the brilliant words of Gil Reyes (as written about here), I went to bed having learned and felt something a little deeper. As I stumbled into work, sat down at the computer, and pulled up my Google Reader, I noticed a post on our own blog here. To my surprise, one of our writers here at the collective had already posted on that exact match I’d watched the night before. Instead of scanning ESPN.com in search of trying to find some tennis writer that could bring life to what I’d seen the night before, I had the privilege of reading those words from a great friend of mine. A great writer, himself.
Adam Schaechterle was my Bill Simmons. He was my Rick Reilly. For you sports people, you understand. For the rest, just trust that I just made sense.
There are those times when you’re sitting in the church pew and you swear that the pastor is speaking directly to you. You try to avoid eye contact with everyone, especially the one preaching. You look over your shoulder to see if everyone else knows this sermon was prepared only for your ears. You sink back in your seat and pray that there’s not some blinking sign above you pointing directly to your sin-bearing brain.
Or there’s the other side. You sit in wonder, with strength and awe and joy as you hear God’s word pouring directly into your heart. There’s no filter. There’s no work. There’s no struggle. There’s just an open valve receiving new life, word and truth flowing like a faucet at full tilt.
And like a coin landing on it’s edge, there’s somehow, sometimes a third side. The whole church sits with sorrow and repentance and brokenness. The whole church stands with hope and heart and belief. The whole church…lives in that moment together…as a whole. As a church.
We try to find that other places, don’t we?
Watching a great movie…talking it over with a friend that has seen it as well.
Listening to a new album…hoping to see it in some well-respected Top 10 list.
Reading a beautiful book…handing it to a friend and praying they experience what you did.
Are we wanting to see real strength and flesh put on this body of work we’ve experienced? Are we looking for validity to what we’ve undergone ourselves? Are we searching for that punctuation mark? That period?
But we’re also desiring more.
Hoping for something heartier.
Needing something richer.
Longing for something larger.
We want community.