I did a thing today. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve done ‘this thing,’ but it’s the first time with this specific intentionality. (Was that convoluted enough?) I walked through the Sanctuary today. That’s it. I walked through the Sanctuary—up and down every aisle and across the breadth of the balcony. I’ve walked these paths between the pews before but never with this particular intent.
I walked through the Sanctuary today and prayed for you. I had planned to stand near the platform—at the Lord’s Supper table—and lift a silent prayer for the corporate congregation, but as I looked across the pews, the prayers became more specific. I know where you sit. I could almost see you in your place. I walked pew to pew—floor to balcony to choir loft—and prayed for: Sidney, Anne, Anne, Don, Susan, Ed, Jonathan, Beth, Fritz, Debbie, Charlie, Min-Ken, Richard, Sallie, Joe, Julie, James, Elizabeth, Pam, Marietta, John, Patsy, Linda, Ken, Barbara, Beth, Greg, Nancy, Dan, Sarah, Roy, Elle, Charlie, Beth, Nancy, Betty, Judy, Amy, Wesley, Oz, Bill, Brad, Lisa, Lora, Bert and so many more of you. You get the picture. (You might even be able to envision the route.) I had planned a quiet five minutes at the Lord’s Supper table. I ended up spending a little over an hour putting pews with faces and faces with prayers. I realized as I exited the accordion doors into the Narthex, many of our members reside in other towns or find themselves homebound; I paused and remembered as many of those names as I could. As I made my way back to the office, my eyes were a tad teary.
I certainly miss the church as a community. However, I want you to know that I miss you as an individual. I miss seeing you each week and receiving your hug, pat on the shoulder, quirky smile, critique, compliment, suggestion, bit of news, prayer concern, handshake, sermon feedback and attentive (semi-attentive? day dreaming? sleeping?) face in your pew.
I’m looking forward to the day we can regather. Until then, I’m keeping you in my prayers, and I’m keeping your pew warm…