Back Row Baptist

I'm not one, by the way.

A "Back Row Baptist."

I actually prefer to sit on one of the first few pews in church because if I don't, I get distracted. I believe my husband prefers the back row and anytime he suggests sitting there, I usually roll my eyes. Hey, he knows about my ADD and how I prefer to worship distraction-free on the front row.

Well today we were sitting in our normal seat up front with our youngest (9 months old), who is normally in the nursery but wasn't today. Pretty early on, he got sleepy and cranky and needed to be walked. You mamas know what I'm talking about....

So I headed out. But I hate not being in service so I walked around the back of the sanctuary with him. I walked while I listened. Walked while I prayed and read scripture on the screen behind our pastor. Finally his eyes grew heavy enough that I was able to stop walking and sit down. But again, I hate sitting in the back. I thought for a moment about walking back to my seat beside my husband up front but then I might be the distraction to someone else at that point. So I sat in the very back and let me tell you what that did for this very distracted heart.

I saw my people differently today. I feel like I saw them through His eyes. They were no longer distractions from the Lord. At that moment they were what focused me on the Lord. I saw how beautiful and precious his people are to Him.

I saw my pastor's wife, my sweet and funny friend who has walked and talked with me through some unpleasant things and some joyous things for almost a decade now. She looked absolutely precious to me today.

I saw God's mercy and grace as my eyes focused on a person who almost caused me to stop coming to this church many years ago. Oh, how good is He to redeem relationships!?

I saw our dearest friends who are expecting their first baby after 8 years of waiting and praying.

I saw a family who lost a son at birth this past year.

I saw a literal walking miracle in a teenage boy who 2 weeks ago was nearly killed in a horrible car accident.

I saw one of my best friends who always makes me feel as if she understands me to my core and loves me when I feel unlovable.

I also saw the empty seats. The ones belonging to the people who were at home sick today. But beyond that I remembered the people who have left this body. Ones who left for good reasons and ones who left for bad reasons. Ones who left and withdrew from community in order to pursue selfish ambitions. Ones who left to plant churches and further the kingdom of God in other areas of the world.

And my heart ached.

You see, this isn't just a building. We are family. We love and we hurt together. It was amazing to step back and see this assortment of people. We each have our own story. We are all so different, but with this common thread. Jesus. He makes us family. I find that remarkable.

I'm so thankful for these people. And I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to sit on the back row and see them through God's eyes today.

(I'll take my seat up front again next Sunday.)


  1. Isn't that crazy when we take a step back or seat back we see the big picture!

  2. This is beautiful. We can have such a complicated relationship with the church at times. Your perspective has me smiling and excited to go to church tomorrow!!