Tales From the Wander: I Miss...

.. having church with hipsters like Tori and Allison and ex-stoners like Josh and Chrispy, and being in the band with the Funky Town Players, Frank, Danny, Jeremy and Mike.I miss watching the prostitutes walk in the back door, and the ladies dressed like prostitutes who are 3 to 4 sizes too big for their dresses so we always worry a boob is gonna pop out.  I miss Roadrunner and his homeless-for-life fingernails and raggedy beard.  Richard and his former homeless, one armed miracle goodness. I miss stoned out, struggling to change thugs like Peewee and fluffy At-risk boys like Derrique who just wants to be where there is peace. I miss playing "I found James" and seeing Ja'cori's ear to ear grin light up a room. I miss Lucy and her saying "Amen" all the time, housewives who are Jesus walking like Barbara, old hippies who are Jesus walking like Tecca and Eric, Solid gold hearted former rap producers like Melvin, the beautiful soulful voices of Jodi and Tanya and the fashion tips from Josh. I miss gun toting rednecks like Randy who love on and take care of Jason, our special needs brother. I miss the Sunshine that is Susan Rogers, the calm warmth that is Mrs. Bernie, the steady gate of Mike Davis and the spunk of Stacy. I miss redecorating Terry's office, making flyers and hugging the teens like Bre and Juanita every Sunday. I miss getting picked on by Paul and annoyed by Greg, greeted by sweet Mrs. Isabella and having to go get a sweater from the boutique for Leqisha. I miss watching Derric and Eric bounce around smiling and leading. I miss ripped pews, rats, ceilings that always leak and the ever changing gate codes. I miss being in a church where drunk people come and sometime like to come on stage and offer to play drums. I miss worshiping with the sinners, the saints, the good, the bad, the ugly, the outcast, the average, the exceptional, the meek, the loud, and the rich and beautiful. I miss getting hugs on stage at the end of service, as we try to sing and lead the closing song as a few faithfuls dance around the altar with Jason singing loudly and doing his standard Sunday jig. I miss my pastor-friends, Craig, a former hairdresser who will scrub a toilet and unload boxes before anyone else and eat lunch with the gang banger who threatened to beat him up and I miss Hope, his whitey-white ex-school teacher wife who is always there when you need her, shoots straight, works hard and likes to rescue drunk female strangers from convenience stores and chase down pimps in her Honda Pilot (she white girl but she so ghetto too!)

That is the Dream Center. THAT is church! I know it's only been two weeks but I miss it already.


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