I’m happily writing from our little apartment in Texas. The pup and I pulled in on Thursday evening to the waiting arms of a man who was just a mite tired of bachelor living, and over the last couple of days, we’ve gotten ourselves settled in. I awoke this morning thinking about church.

With all of our travel and disjointedness of the last few weeks, our attendance has been sketchy, at best. We’ve already said our “official” goodbyes at our home church in Florida, and while Hubs has visited a church here in Texas, I’ve yet to try one. I was thinking to myself this morning (with no small amount of excitement) where the Lord would have us end up. Who would we meet? With whom would I do Bible study? How would we serve?

I can’t think of church without returning in my mind to the church of my youth. I was privileged to attend the church where most all of my dad’s family had or did attend, and where my parents were married. We were there every Sunday, my dad serving as deacon, then elder, my mother as a Sunday school teacher. We were there every summer for VBS, where my mother was always involved in some capacity. I made my profession of faith on Palm Sunday 1973, and was baptized there on Easter. We made every Fellowship Dinner, located (where else?) in the Fellowship Hall, and ate the culinary specialties of sweet old ladies like Mrs. Dooley, or the Bryan Sisters. I discovered I could sing at that church, and did so on a regular basis with the “Cross-Country Singers” youth choir, at camp and during the sing-a-longs at youth group. My dad walked me down the aisle to the very same altar where he had married my mom, and handed me over to my groom.

As I think back to that church, I realize that not only did I know everyone, but I knew where everything was, too. I knew where to find the salt and pepper in the church kitchen. I knew where they kept the communion trays and cups, and how they were washed and dried. I knew which door led to the store room behind the pipe organ, and that the organist kept a special pair of “organ” shoes back there that look scandalously like slippers! I even knew where the broom closet was.

I realize now that you don’t get to know the “behind the scenes” of a church unless you dare to become a part of them. You can be a Sunday morning attender, or even take it to the next level and be a part of a study or small group, but I think it’s only through serving a church in some capacity that it really begins to become a part of you, and you of it. I knew all of the ins and outs of that childhood church because my parents served there. We didn’t just attend church, we helped it function. We staked a claim there and became a part of its corporate heart beat; by stepping up to serve, we became part of something greater than ourselves.

I’m excited to learn the inner-workings of my new church – wherever it is – confident that one day I’ll know where they keep the brooms. What about you? Could you find your church’s broom closet?

P.S. I have something to say that’s been nagging at me since my post about “Traveling the Road Home.” While I dearly love a fine hotel, boutique inn, or bed and breakfast, please understand that I don’t always get to stay in the lap of their luxuries! My being a “hotel snob” just means that I really scrutinize the places I stay and hold them to a very high standard, preferring to stay in the best we can afford. However, especially in this economy, I have to “keep it real” like everyone else. Go La Quinta!