I am always defensive about going to church. Whenever the topic comes up in conversation, I am always quick to disassociate myself with it. “I’m not one of those ‘church’ people” I insist, and I have any number of reasons to offer why. Except I don’t know who I’m kidding. I am most definitely a church person.
When I first arrived in Austin, before finding friends or a job or even getting my internet hooked up, I needed to find a church. Church is instant community and support and an entire congregation of people who have your back–and all just for showing up! I couldn’t think of anything more necessary when Cooper and I landed in this great state of Texas and looked around and thought, “We’re not in New York anymore.” And they have had my back. I was welcomed with open arms and before they had even learned my last name, they were quick to network for me, welcome me into their homes, and do whatever they could to make my adventure a success. That’s what church families do.
But it’s not just the people that I come to church for. Like so many people of this world I have a deep seeded need for reverence, a need that despite my rationality and science mindedness, I just can’t seem to shake. And while I may use words like God, The Universe, Fate, or Whatever all interchangeably, and I see communion as more of a nice mid-service snack than as anything divine, I still feel the need to go to church because it’s a place where I can ask the questions that I’m not sure there are answers to, but that I want to ask anyway.
I also love that I am Presbyterian, possibly because they tend to be on the nerdier spectrum of denominations. I love sitting in church and exegeting through scripture, pulling from greek and hebrew translations, philosophers and theologians. It’s like a slightly more ceremonious version of my undergraduate academic study that I loved so much.
Tonight, as I sat in quiet meditation in a candle-lit chapel, contemplating why it was that I had dragged myself away from a nice nap and my pj’s to be in this very chapel, I realized it was because there was nowhere else I would rather be. I guess I really am a church person.