...having an empty row at church
We always sit on the second row at church.
I am not sure how that became the "Macias Row", but we just always sit there. I like to be at the front, but I want to have somewhere to prop my feet (very spiritual reason, don't you think?) so the second row is perfect. And since very few people sit on the first row, we have an unobstructed view and can concentrate fully on the teaching.
We have been at our church for seven years now. And for almost all of those seven years we have taken up the entire second row. If we have guests we could even take up two. But this Sunday...
I have three children married. I have a fourth child who is in pursuit of that same estate. I have my husband and two children off doing God's work.
So it was just my youngest and myself....on the entire row....because it is the Macias Row so no one else sits there.
But we just don't need the whole row anymore.
I am thrilled for everywhere my arrows were this past Sunday morning. It means that my training and investment in them has enabled them to be shot out of our quiver. It means they can begin the process of starting their own rows in their own churches. It means God is multiplying our efforts and infusing His grace and continuing the work He began in them that He has promised to complete.
And all of that is very good news. But I will risk a bit of honesty- it is also a bit sad. It is not that I begrudge my children their launch. I rejoice in that. But I not only love my kids, I really, really like them too.
I like whispering to them during church or sending notes up and down the aisle. I like talking about the sermon on the way home. I adore looking down the aisle and seeing them worshipping with their hearts while we sing or taking notes during the sermon. I like our inside jokes and our eye contact and how my kids nudge me to get me to quit talking to their Dad.
Because I like my kids, I miss my kids. But the reality is that I will have to get used to that empty second row. And I need to see that row as a testimony to work God has done. And I need to see that empty row as an opportunity.
Because.... maybe God has just opened up some seats so I can start bringing other people with me to church? Hmmmmm.....
He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:6