Where is the house of the Lord? All my life I thought it was the church; a building where people hear about God, learn to love and respect one another, listen to and pray for one another, encourage and uplift one another.
I might have it all wrong, but to me the house of the Lord is my heart. Going to church doesn’t make my heart right, especially when people gossip, form their own little cliques, hide behind their holier-than-thou masks, and judge, condemn, and convict people before they even hear their cases.
So, I’ve built a sanctuary in my heart. It’s not perfect. I goof up . . . a lot. Some days I can’t stand being in my own skin. But I don’t have to dress up all fancy, paste a smile on my face, and be around people I don’t like.
Maybe I’m just cynical. Maybe I’m too intolerant. Maybe I’m too set in my ways. Or maybe I’m just tired of the games church-people play. Tired of dishonesty and greed. Tired of not knowing who to trust. And tired of trying to keep my eyes open during preaching.
So, I’ve made a decision. My church-going days are over. I no longer wear it as a shrine around my neck. I no longer see it as the only place I can worship God. Maybe I should feel guilty. Maybe I should hang my head in shame. But, for a thousand and one reasons and a million hurts and disappointments, I feel free. And for the first time in a long, long time, I’m having church.