A Blog by Lindsey Goodyear
Well, it’s March which means this is officially the second blog post I’m writing while in the midst of a full house remodel. Tension is running high in the Goodyear house and patience and understanding is at an all-time low. There also seems to be fewer hours in the day than I originally thought there were, which means that we lay our heads on the pillow each night with no sense of ease but instead a laundry list of what still needs to be done. We even had to skip Messy Church last month because by the time we were done working, Marty and Leyla would have been halfway through celebration. The kids didn’t take the news well as those “Messy” Saturdays are one of their favorite days (next to birthdays and Christmas). They’ve been troopers but the unpredictable chaos of the remodel has left them much more rambunctious than normal. As a family that thrives on structure, there’s been no such practice in the last eight weeks and it shows. So, instead of finding a way to break the news to the kids that, yet again, we just couldn’t fit Messy Church in, I mustered up the last of my energy, put on a smile, loaded them up, and headed to the church.
Immediately upon arrival, I felt the weight of the last two months of stress, anger, exhaustion, and frustration lift. There was just something about walking into big hugs and smiling faces all around. How could I have almost voluntarily missed this? My children took off running and I didn’t have to worry about where they were because they’ve grown up here and have discovered every nook and cranny of this old Methodist church. Once it was time for crafts, I found that watching my kids joyfully running around from table to table, creating, eating, and getting messy was the exact remedy to all this stress I’d been looking for. I felt myself take a deep, cleansing breath for the first time in months. I socialized with my “Messy” family and friends. I laughed, I danced, I sang, and I ate. I learned new things about an old story and met new and interesting people. They say time flies when you’re having fun and it must because before I knew it, it was time for celebration.
The story was Jesus and the temple which tells the tale of when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus when he was just a boy. They were traveling back to Nazareth from Jerusalem and, while each assumed He was with the other, by the end of the day, they discovered He was missing. It took three days before they finally found Him, sitting in the temple, among the teachers, asking and answering questions. Mary then asked, “Why have you treated us like this? We have been searching for you in great distress.” To which, Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” As a parent, I couldn’t wrap my head around the hysteria Mary must have felt looking for Him for those three days only to be met by His nonchalant attitude towards her concern. I once lost my three year old at his older brother’s school for about 10 minutes. Not only was I in a frenzy of panic, my three year old was almost inconsolable when I finally found him. So, how was Jesus fine after 3 days on His own?
The answer is simple. He was fine because He was in His Father’s house. He wasn’t being disrespectful to Mary, He was just letting her know there was no need to worry. He was fine. He was comfortable. He was home. I couldn’t help noticing a correlation between this story and the story of my own family. The shift that took place almost instantaneously after arriving. My children and their carefree excitement, my genuine smile and laughter, the comfort we felt for those glorious two hours. It was so crystal clear.
We felt this way because we, too, were in our Father’s home. We, too, were fine. We, too, were comfortable. We, too, were home. I’m so grateful that Messy Church has provided an opportunity for my family to feel what Jesus also felt that day in the temple. At rest, in our element, free to be us no matter how messy, 100% accepted, and most of all…loved.