The Lady in the Lobby
Most churches have a lobby area in front of the sanctuary. In my church the lobby area includes a table with 2 chairs on each side. Occasionally the ushers will provide folding chairs for overflow sitting. But usually people just quickly pass through on their way to find a seat in the sanctuary.
For the past 6 months I have found myself taking residency in one the four chairs. As I am getting older, and yes I know most of my friends are rolling their eyes by the term of getting older, my thyroid has been acting up. I have found it hard to regulate my temperature and add in pre-menopause; my poor body has no idea if it is hot or cold.
Often I like typing up my thoughts to the sermon, which I know distracts people so I find this seat in the lobby a great place for me to attend church. Often I am aware that my different choices appear to be going against the traditions of society but that is not my intention. During this time the Lady in the Lobby found that choosing a location best for herself ended up being a blessing to others.
Over the past few months I have been given opportunities to love on God’s people just by being on the fringe. New moms were blessed to have their babies held while going to the bathroom. An opportunity to pray with a lady who was called away from service because her husband was not doing well.
Once a friend came out of church not feeling well and I was able to offer her a ride home. Every now and then a friend forgets their cell phone and needs mine to communicate with loved ones. Sometimes they need an extra set of hands in the nursery to hold babies!
These are just a few examples of how I have seen God at work in the lives of his people. Because they will share their stories with me when they sit in the chair next to me.
Yes over the past few months I have needed people to sit in the chair next to me and encourage me. When my son attempted suicide my emotions were too intense for entering into the sanctuary.
Sitting in the lobby can just be a sweet place to sit ready to serve, help and love those on the fringe. Sometimes even an adventure because you never know what will be going on in the lives of others. I have found it becoming a chance to be present and aware of others around me.
This ministry won’t have a line item on the church budget or a sign up sheet to join the Lady in the Lobby and people might not even notice when I am not there but being available to serve makes my heart happy.
Please don’t hear that I am in favor of avoiding corporate worship but maybe in the margin space one can find a ministry to serve. Especially for me who has so much going on during the week that finding time to do anything pass surviving encourages my heart.
Maybe this will just get your ideas jump started on different ways you can use your unique situations to serve and love those around you. Showing up with grace is priceless.