I was not planning on going to church today. I was instead going to do my taxes. You know, “Give to Caeser…” and all that business, so skipping seemed biblically justified. But I needed to get a DVD from church, so I texted my friend, Arturo, to ask if he could pick it up for me. He texted back, “Sure,” and then proceeded to send me photos “live” from the first service. I thought it was funny that he was not only texting in church, but also taking candid photos.
Just as I was thinking that this was a new medium for him — he’s usually drawing in his ever-present sketch book — he sent me a photo of this amazing “doodle” (above).
When it popped up on my phone, it grabbed me immediately, like Jesus himself saying, “Chris, get your butt in here!” In an instant, I knew I had to go. No time for a shower, I quickly brushed my teeth, threw on a sweatshirt and sped across town in an attempt to make it to the second service.
I got there late and walked in with my friend, Sheryl, who was also alone. We sat together. After the service, we ran into Linda who has been having a hard time lately and needed a boost. As we shared a much appreciated laugh, TC snuck up behind me, singing “Help Me, Rhonda.” He was raving over a book I had loaned him on Brian Wilson. He’s a fellow music lover so we shared a few moments of giddiness discussing the Beach Boys. Just then, Phil came up and gave my whole little gang a “group hug”. It seemed he needed to give one as much as we all needed to get one.
I can’t tell you much about the sermon, or the service itself for that matter. But as I drove home from church, I knew for sure that Jesus was right — I was supposed to be there today.
Footnote: Arturo is a mutual friend. He has helped me in other ways than by sending me doodles from church — but he has given significant input to my life, nonetheless.