This past Sunday I found myself walking through the neighborhood of DOXA’s gathering roughly 15 minutes before people would show up to eat, praying that God would intervene. It was probably the biggest crisis I have faced as a young church planter. That day I woke up and put the finishing touches to what I thought was a great sermon. I then called a few people who had expressed great enthusiasm in the church plant. People who had made comments to my wife and I such as: “I can’t wait until you guys plant a church,” and “I will definitely be a part of what you do,” even more, “I think this is exactly what we are looking for,” and from this past fall, “Why can’t you start today?”. But Sunday marked fourth straight week of these people not calling me back. My anger began to grow. For years we have prayed for these people, and the lost people around them. We have had them in our living room, and heard their complaints about the church. How did my anger manifest? I wore a t-shirt instead of a collared button-up, and harbored resentment in my heart (I know, I’m such a bad-ass).
Well if this weren’t bad enough when I got to the house to set-up, my wife was nowhere to be found and unable to reach by phone, while the other person who helps set up was sick in bed. Now let me explain something about our set-up: I have no idea how to do it. So there I am at 5:30 (people come at 6) with my good buddy Derek cooking, and a pissed off demeanor that no one is coming, and a living room that has not been set up. The worst part: I desperately needed my wife. I needed her to give me a hug (no offense to Derek), I needed her to listen as I shared pastoral frustrations, I needed her to smile at me, pray for me, and really just be there. AND SHE WON’T ANSWER HER PHONE.
Then, the next day I got sick. From 3pm until the next morning I slept and laid around with my dog, while having a sore throat, a throbbing head, and a stomach that would tell me it was hungry one minute and that it wanted to throw up the next. When my wife got home at 8pm she dropped everything to help me. Normally when I am sick I just want to be left alone, which is the opposite of my wife who wants to be babied. She made me a bath, and as she was leaving to go do something I asked her where she was going. She responded that she was going to watch TV, and then asked if I wanted her to stay. YES, I WANTED HER TO STAY. I wanted her to be near me, to laugh when I make fun of myself for being sick, to smile at every word I say like she always does. I just wanted to be around my wife.
I tell those two stories about my wife to summarize what’s been going on in my life these past few weeks. I am simply wanting and needing my wife more than ever. When we used to work for Campus Crusade we would always lament that we were around each other too much, and needed a clear dichotomy between our work and personal lives. Now we have that, I find myself thinking about her all day, dreaming about simply snuggling on the couch and watching Best Week Ever, and coveting our Saturday morning walks together. Not only this, but I am so aware of how much I need her. No one believes in me like she does, and no one serves me like she does. No one knows how to gently tell me that I shouldn’t say or wear certain things, and no one’s words of affirmation mean as much. She has become much more precious, beautiful and wonderful to me since we have started this church plant. If that’s not reason enough to plant a church I don’t know what is.