Every time I've heard Christine Caine speak, she has said one phrase that sticks to my gut like peanut butter on wonder bread: I'm a church girl. She says it with confidence, more confidence than everything else she says, and I believe her. I believe her because I think when you love the Church, you've caught just a tiny glimpse of what God meant in the very beginning when He said, "It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper fit for Him." And then the Helper bent low, thrust into the side of man, and drew out of man, the helper fit for him. And the man said, "At last."
I like to think that when Christine says, "I'm a church girl," what she means is that she is beholding the Church in that moment in the same way Adam beheld Eve: At last.
She is seeing something in her mind's eye, something few see. She sees the bride of Christ in all her splendor, gloriously robed, fully functioning, and she loves her.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the local church and whether we feel comfortable or at home in a place of worship. What kind of music resonates with us, whether the sermon sits well with us. When discussions like these rise, I feel the sort of defense mechanism in me rising, the same sort I feel when someone takes issue with one of my brothers. It's a blood kinship I feel there, not because I think they are perfect, but because I belong to them and they belong to me. I see their foibles and falls, their brokenness, their spotted and blemished reputations—and I love them not for who they are, but who I know they are, by the grace of God, becoming.
In short bursts of expectation I say with Adam, "At last!" not because what is broken has come untrue, but because I know it will be.
I am a church girl because Lord knows, I need all the help I can get and God provided that. He made me that. He made my brothers and sisters that. He knew we'd all be wandering aimlessly without the construct of a miracle made from flesh and bone. This mix of broken and beautiful. We are not saved by the church, but we are saved with her, thank God. We are all saved with her.
This weekend I am in Austin, in body with a part of the body, but I'll be honest, my heart has been with the IF:Local groups of women gathering all over the world. I wonder how their small groups are going and their discussions. I am praying that some broken feelings about church and belonging are coming untrue, healed by the Helper, and administered by the helpers, the local churches.
Let's be church girls. Let's be about what God is about.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26