For Those Sundays You Don’t Want to Go


My Church. 
Maybe you’ve had one too?
You know, that Sunday.  That Sunday when even though you love your church family and you love your pastor and you love the pretty music and the smooth wood of the offering plates and still, somehow,

You don’t want to go. At least, I hope you’ve had them too. Because if I’m the only one I don’t want to know it.

Last Sunday was one of those Sundays. Rich was working on an almost-emergency deck demoliton project and I felt lazy and slow and tired and I.Didn’t.Want.To.Go.

But I did. I reminded myself worship isn’t about me I scrambled to shower and raced off with wet hair and no prettifying. And I reminded myself nobody goes to our little church to inspect Sheila’s hairdo. I was a few minutes late, so I slipped into a pew near the back.

I pried my heart open just enough to admit a hymn. I felt myself relaxing into that odd peaceful joy that worship provokes, forgot about my soggy hair, and adored my King.

I noticed him right away, the little-bit-scuffed-up man sitting two pews ahead of me. I seem to have special little-bit-scuffed-up radar. And when Pastor called for prayer requests, he practically leaped to his feet. I have a praise, he said. Prayer works! I know I’m a little boisterous sometimes, and I’m glad you put up with me, but I am here to tell you all: prayer works. Things have been hard since my son died and I’ve been bouncing around without a real home for the past year or so–

I leaned forward, tears streaming down my face, listening. 

–My daughter is coming this week to pick me up and take me home with her. Prayer WORKS! Don’t ever give up. IT WORKS!

Every rescue story moves me to tears, because every homeless person is my cousin Hugh. Like most of us, his troubles are largely of his own making. The price he’s paid, though, is high–far higher than any extracted from me.

After church I found him in the fellowship hall, and I said, God bless you. I told him about my cousin and my prayers and my eyes spilled all over again talking, because I could see he knew the story by heart.

Don’t give up, he told me. You keep praying for your cousin, and I will too. 

As I write, it is the day his daughter was coming to claim him, to install him in her home.

When I close my eyes, I see him. And her. They’re sitting on a porch together. 

37 Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. 38 They shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.
Jeremiah 32:37-40 (NASB)

I’m sharing with my friend Michelle DeRusha’s Hear It On Sunday, Use It On Monday community. Please visit.

And now, some news: Godspotting is growing up. And we all know that growing up can be messy. On Saturday, August 17, we’ll be rolling out our spiffy new look. It’s a creation of the indulgent genius, Lyla Willingham Lindquist, proprietor of  The Willingham Enterprise.  
So don’t mind the pixelated dust if you come by this weekend and all is not perfectly orderly. We’ll have it all pretty in a jiffy.

I think you’ll like our new look. And I can’t wait to introduce you to Stuart.



  1. just breathtaking, Sheila. what a beautiful story of the God who almost always comes to us on unexpected legs.

  2. “Unexpected legs”–what a great way to put it. Thanks for your kind words, Kelli!

  3. Awesome = simple and beautiful – – and your new site allows me to make comments!

  4. I stopped by at my blogging/writing friend’s (Michelle DeRusha) recommendation. So glad I did, because I needed this. I look forward to visiting here often.

  5. I’ve had those Sundays too, then I realize that I’m the pastor and people are waiting to hear a word from me! There’s never been an occasion where I was disappointed after I got to church, it’s just those little things that get you down before you go.

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