This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Friday, October 21, 2011

My Chair

Lately, you may have noticed that I have been posting information about The Chair series at my church.  I know that in the past I've posted videos and plan to do so once again once they become available.  If you've never seen a segment, you really should, it's the most real and authentic way to see the difference that Jesus can make in a persons life.  The thing to understand about this series is that these are real people, most of which I personally know.  Some may only be acquaintances or people that I've stood next to in line while waiting to pick up my kids or sat behind in service, but they are real people with real stories of freedom and salvation.  It's amazing.

I remember when I first started attending Celebration Church, I was recharged as many times a week as I could manage in the chairs there.  They are extra wide, black metal chairs with dark gray fabric, more comfortable than you'd expect, but not so much that you might get too comfortable and nap during service.  They have no arms, so when you sit you are immediately adjacent to the person lucky enough to take the seats to your right and left.  They are sturdy and easy to sit in and jump out of when Pastor says something stirring.  They are perfectly uniform and unassuming, easily stackable and useful in any number of situations.  They neatly fit at long rectangular tables and round tables, likewise they line the perimeter of classrooms and are suitable for all ages.  They are neither too dowdy for weddings or garish for funerals.  They don't mind if all they do is hold your purse during a prayer meeting or get pushed out of the way to make room for people who find themselves prostrate at the feet of their God.  They neither condemn you nor celebrate you for your consistent attendance or lack thereof.  On the seat-backs of each chair are pockets, different types depending on if you go to Clovis or Fresno, but each chair dutifully holds the giving envelopes and connect cards and the blue info card that explains the tithe and offering.  There's even a spot for a pen or two.

The chairs play many roles on any given weekend.  They are great places to hide for the littlest church goer's as they wait for their parents to finish chatting.  They are also great places to hide for the not so little church goer's as they wait for service to start and avoid talking to all the happy, shiny's outside and in the lobby.  They become a place for counseling and encouragement between believers and friends, a place to pray with others or cry out to God alone.  A place to simply catch up with friends old and new.  The chairs toward the back often hold newborn carseats and become miniature playgrounds for toddlers not wanting to attend class.  The chairs toward the front are often for students, the brave, the familiar and the hungry.  Never choosing, but always being chosen.

There are so many significant seats we take over the course of our life, the chair in the doctor's office, the driver's seat, the chair in our counselor's office, the chair at our dining room table or our favorite restaurant, the chair in our own living room or the chair we sit in at work; each of these chairs represent good and bad memories, freedom, sorrow, comfort, joy, pain, fear, boredom, excitement as well as so much more.  All of these chairs have had the potential to change your life, but you had to choose to take the seat.  Similarly, the chairs at Celebration, or any church really, have the potential to change your life, but you must choose it.  You must choose to sit and be open to the experience and the ride of a life time.

Each and every moment in one of these chairs is the moment that could change everything.         

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