Who Sits on Your Pew?

Where do you sit in church? If you’re anything like me – you try to sit the same place every Sunday. Two of my church mothers and a handful of my
contemporaries sit on the same row every Sunday. We save each other a seat, hug, compliment, complain to and encourage each other. We even have the nerve
to get mad when someone beats us to church and takes our so called seats.

One Sunday there was a young lady sitting in our area or rather in one of our seats. She was sitting right smack dab in the middle of our section. We were
all courteous to her but gave each other a look that said: why is she sitting in our “area”? I even went as far as to offer her the covenant end
seat so as not to talk across her but she declined.

The following Sunday I lingered in the sanctuary to avoid the crowded parking lot. The young lady who sat in our area the previous week arrived for the
second service and took a seat next to me. I gave her a hug, told her she was going to enjoy the message and wished her a blessed week. The following week,
the same scenario –only this time we started a conversation.

We commenced to engage in small talk. She began to share with me the fact that she recently lost her 19 year old son. She talked about how wonderful he
was. How he was never in trouble and how close her children were to her. I didn’t ask any questions, I just listened. He was shot in his car for no
apparent reason. She even shared with me how she found out about the incident. My heart went out to her. Immediately, I reflected back on the fact that I
had the nerve to wonder why she sat in “our area”.

It was a difficult week for her as she went to court to deal with the circumstances surrounding her son’s death. I mostly listened and tried to empathize,
comfort and coach her. I asked her about her hobbies. I suggested that she keep a journal and promised to connect her with a seasoned saint to pray with
and for her.

Last Sunday I ran into her in the lobby. She said that she was so happy to see me as she had something for me. She handed me a beautiful handmade pure
white hat and scarf set. I was taken back and brought to tears. We walked together to our seats in the sanctuary. I felt awkward and undeserving of the
gift. Although I thought about her, prayed for her and shared the details of our encounter with others many times. I felt like I could have reached out to
her more. The truth of the matter is– I didn’t even know her name. How well do you know who sits on your pew?

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