yes, i went to a bar tonight with my husband. we got a babysitter and went to our church’s sunday night service in a bar. i love being a portable church with no walls. there are many challenges of setting up and tearing down but there is no association of church with a building.
my children do not know what a church building looks like. we have an ornament that looks like an old church building with a steeple and kinley truly argued with me telling me that the movie theater is church. she still yells out “there’s our old church” when we pass by the theater. (it does confuse her that we are in a school now but we are the same church).
so we are in the bar having a service and my mind goes back to the few times that i have been in a bar. every time i have gone to a bar or an auburn fraternity party, there was a pit feeling. it wasn’t because i was in disgust over the sin, it was because i was in a bar with all the drunk people who were drowning something in alcohol. this was their life and their good time. most of them were filling their empty hole with other things besides Jesus. i would try and pretend that i enjoyed the band that i was there to watch or in auburn- enjoy the friends that i was hanging out with but that is all i could think about. my stomach ached and my heart would be heavy.
this “feeling” did not come from an uncomfortable situation. it was because i was not disconnected any more from the (most likely) lost world. i wasn’t disconnected from people who cuss and get drunk. i would watch the girl who started the night shy and reserved get drunk and run to any guy that would give her attention. there is an emptiness there that can be avoided by most Christians if we are not intentional in remembering what it is like to not have Jesus as Lord of our lives. we can live parallel lives with our neighbors and the world with never being in it, never feeling sick over them not knowing who Jesus is. it is the disconnect that keeps us comfortable. but when we are intentionally reconnected to what their (lost) reality is then our hearts should ache, we should feel sick, we should be concerned. we then live our lives differently than we did before- intentional about connecting with them out of care and concern.
so i am glad that we met tonight in a bar. i pray that people will come in to their old familiar hang out and will be able to hear a message of hope and completeness. i pray that they don’t have to search anymore.