All weekend long, sweet Mandy kept asking me if there was anything specific I wanted to see. She knew I was there to try to hear the Lord and to feel some direction from Him, but I was pretty sure there was no billboard that was going to answer my every question. I mean, I figured there wasn’t. Maybe there was and I just missed it. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants.
My answer to her question, throughout the entire weekend was, “I’m cool with whatever, honestly. I just want to go to your church on Sunday morning.”
[Here we are, by the way, at lunch on Saturday. Because I wasn’t quite sure I had completely saturated your mind with visuals of my trip. Now I think I have.]
The weekend wasn’t about seeing all the sights, necessarily. It was about seeing the people. About hearing them. About experiencing the everydayness [I made that up] of this city that I had never been formally introduced to. And going to church.
Kevin and Mandy go to Midtown Fellowship, a plant church with a heart for the city of Nashville. According to the Mann almanac, there are more churches per capita in Nashville than any other city in the USA. [Don’t quote me on that- it’s just what Kevin says. Though he is a fairly trustworthy character.] So I wasn’t totally dependent on THIS ONE CHURCH to make all the difference.
Because on any given Sunday, God can show up in big ways in any building where people are gathered to worship Him. But I wanted to see Him there.
The people were so great- so welcoming and kind. Every person I was introduced to was genuine, which I’ll honestly say surprised me. The church is made up of mostly young adults- post college to mid thirties. I’ve been to a church like this here and “genuine” is NOT one the words that I used afterwards. The only downside to Midtown is that there is a lack of generational bud-dom, as I have here, but I really liked the people that I met and the atmosphere of the church in general.
The worship was beautifully reverent. Almost subtle. I don’t know if those words make sense to you, but if you could feel “subtle worship” in your heart, I think it would feel like tubing down a cool river in late June. I liked it.
And the preacher was great. A little long, but I have no room to complain- I could win an Olympic talking competition. You can actually listen to his sermon here– and I encourage you to do that. You can also watch the video on the website. It was all about Biblical hope.
Yeah, okay God, I hear ya. And don’t worry, the pastor prayed this scripture:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
So we went back to the Mann’s house and they invited a friend, Michelle, over for lunch. A single girl, funny as any person I’ve met, obviously someone Kevin and Mandy respect, and she had wise advice. In the 3 hours we hung out I deduced all this, of course. She is someone that I think I would like to be friends with. We ate manicotti, talked about God, described plant costumes, and played funny music.
And around 4pm, I packed up my car with all my gear. I felt weird. This weekend that I’ve been anticipating since November was over quickly. It was time to head home. But the idea of leaving felt funny to me. Not ha-ha funny, like I usually am :), but funny like odd. It didn’t feel right to leave. Because being in this city called out something deep and new in me.
I wondered, as I drove down the ramp to I-24, what it would be like to live in Nashville.