To pick up where I left off in my previous entry:
What I remember from starting services at Breakwater Church before was the crackling energy of a new church--all of us so excited, so ready to go--and this Breakwater had none of that. Walking in the door, I felt something like sorrow--a new, deep humility that marked the faces of everyone I talked to, particularly Rick (my favorite person/head pastor mentioned in part I). Somehow, Breakwater has aged, but the change is very becoming.
There were no more than twenty people there, only a quarter of whom I knew from the old church, and we scooted our chairs up close to Rick as he gave his message; we closed our eyes and listened, we fiddled with key chains and sleeves. Kids played and giggled behind us as he spoke, and it was all deliciously unplanned--Rick let himself ramble, telling stories; as he closed the sermon he said, simply, "I'd hoped to say something really moving here, but...this meant a lot to me when I wrote it, you know, so maybe I'll just pray that God will do something cool for you, too."
All the churches I've been to in the last two years have had this in common: they have not been Breakwater.
Sitting in the very chairs I remember folding up after services, I realized that all I'd ever wanted in a church was for it to be Breakwater, and that, at some point, even Breakwater ceased to mean what it once had to me--a safe haven, a family, someplace to come and drink bad coffee and make noise, or to sit still and ponder.
Or to laugh. Which is what I did mostly.
Nostalgia was at work, sure--"oh, I remember that amp, and how the volume knob was so sticky, and sigh, I remember blah blah blah"--but something more was happening too, an intense gratitude that, through everything God's led me through (just because I didn't see him much doesn't mean he wasn't there), he should bring me back here.