By Carol Brown
Last Sunday, I got a special gift after the worship service. Gabrielle Rader handed me a pen and ink portrait of myself drawn on a blank corner of the guide to worship. I hugged her, thanked her, and complimented her on her artistic abilities. I quickly saw that she had also drawn portraits of Cass, Ruth, and Brett and we all looked amazingly like ourselves!
These thoughtful drawings made me stop and think about the view from the pews each Sunday. I'm very familiar with how our worship services look from the platform, but I wonder how we look from the pews. When I look out into the congregation before the service begins, I see families worshiping together - sometimes with several generations represented - and senior adults sitting among teenagers and preschoolers eagerly lining the front pew. I see a hodge-podge mix of people who form a wonderful and loving family.
But what do you see from the pews? My hope is that when you settle into your pew each Sunday and hear the chiming of the hour, you see the warm smiles of the faithful musicians in the choir loft and feel the prayers of the ministers who thoughtfully plan each worship service to lead us into deeper communion with God.
We are not perfect (the ones on the platform and the ones in the pews), but because we are willing to share our lives with each other, we are blessed to be a part of a loving family of faith. I'm glad that Gabrielle gave me a glimpse of the view from the pews as she sees us each week. This Sunday, as Gerald chimes the hour and we begin another sacred time of worship, I'm planning to look out at my family of faith and just enjoy the view!