“Who will officiate at my funeral?” My friend Liz asked this question during a pause in our conversation earlier this week. “I don’t have a church these days.”
Other important questions were bundled within her question: What have I gained by pouring myself into church for years? Where is my community now that I’m aging, divorced, and in poor health? Who will walk beside me during this stage of my life?
I first met Liz when our kids were toddlers together in the church nursery. Our friendship has now spanned three decades. She was (and is) one of the most deeply committed believers I’ve ever known. Her faith in Jesus sustained her through the discovery of her husband’s repeated infidelity, some tough years as her children moved into young adulthood, and through the chaos of a split in the church that had once been her haven for many years. After the church split, Liz found herself on Sunday mornings in the comfortable theater seats of a mega church. She’d grown up in the church, and the habit of church attendance was deeply embedded in her. For a while, she appreciated…[Read more]