Once every 3 weeks, I am a greeter for the first service of the fellowship I attend here in the Twin Cities. I have enjoyed this fellowship for it's worship, community, truth, and encouraging messages. I also feel that I have something to give back to it, though I'm still discovering how do that.
Two weeks ago, I was a greeter with another young gentleman. This guy is getting his undergraduate in screen writing. He was pleasant to talk to and had a hair-cut that was spiky and asymmetrical. As we opened the door for people, I couldn't help but notice, couple after couple of beautiful people. And not just married couples, but groups of friends in tanned boots, coiffured hair, bright scarves, sparkling eyes, clear skin. Guys walking in with their blazer jackets, perfectly faded jeans, gelled hair, and big smiles. And I couldn't help but mention to the screenwriter, "Have you ever noticed how many beautiful people go to our church? It seems disproportionately high"
"Yeah, you're right." he agreed.
After we finished greeting, I went to the restroom to gear up for the service. I splashed water on my face and looked in the mirror. I was horrorified; staring back at me was the face of someone quite different than all the beauties we had welcomed into the church earlier. For I am old already, with dark circles under my eyes, gray hairs starting to bud out all over, and my ever-faithful adult-onset acne hovering on my forehead.
"What am I doing at a fellowship with so many beautiful people? What is it about this place that attracts this type of person? Help me not to notice or help me know what to do with it? Why do I feel like I don't belong here."
But I pulled myself together and sat in the sanctuary in the back by myself, and tried to find God. I looked around and saw some other people who looked very similar to myself. Tired, weathered and maybe also a little confused why they were there too.
And later that week, I read the verse "Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart." And I was reminded that I need to stop noticing appearances and trust that someone else is looking at that place in ourselves that really counts.