The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. ~Frederick Buechner

Dreaming of IKEA

I often have this dream: church as IKEA. A place where I’m wandering around in a state of consumer euphoria. Enchanted by all the clean lines. Stimulated by the newness. Confident that I can buy it and build it. Where everything fits together and there is a place for everything. Where a Smärflufluen actually makes sense.

Instead I’m stuck with the Church of No Answers, of Born Losers, of Belly Laughers. The Church of the Theology and Healing of Coffee; Church of There’s Nothing a Hug Can’t Help; Church of Dwelling with Sorrow; Church of Hey! Here’s Some Leftover Food and a Bottle of Water!; Church of Stumble, Fall, Get up Again.

And again.

I’m stuck with the Church where we neglect to take up an offering, but God continues to provide. Church where people “get” me and shower me with love. Church where my gifts are at once recognized, ignored, dismissed, then requested, appreciated, then quietly forgotten. Until the next time.

Church of short tempers, hastily sent e-mails that can’t be taken back. Church of forgetting keys, of sugar accidentally left out of recipes, of the broken laptop, of drying wool sweaters on high, of days ruined and evenings spent in abject weariness. Church as life, the human condition. That’s the church I go to.

Jane Hertenstein
Latest posts by Jane Hertenstein (see all)