Sometimes church is…

Sometimes church is before, or after, or on the way.

Sometimes it’s outside, or at the back, it’s in the corridors and the baby-change room.

Sometimes church is in and out and in, and out again.

It’s lifting and holding and tired arms swapping children.

It’s listening on the intercom, or not listening on the intercom.

Sometimes church is nursing in the common room.

It’s the trees you see outside bathed in autumn light.

It’s the purple and orange fabric someone has pinned over the tiny windows.

Sometimes church gets your attention,

and sometimes your toddler who won’t keep her boots on does,

or your baby trying to eat dirt off the floor.

Sometimes church is taking it in turns,

or shifts at crèche.

Sometimes church is too much of a stretch.

Sometimes getting showered is.

Sometimes, getting wriggling children into clothes and car-seats is.

Sometimes church is not where you’re at.

Sometimes where you’re at is Sabbath rest.

The couch or the park or just breakfast.

Sometimes church is why did we bother?

Sometimes it’s let’s not.

Sometimes church is where you go, anyway.

Sometimes it’s presence, and sometimes it’s absence,

it’s struggle and it’s blessing Sunday after Sunday,

and, somehow, it’s all adding up to… Church.

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