“Hey guys, thanks for coming down tonight…”
I take my seat quietly, between two friends. Sunday night worship is a time of reflection for me. Tonight, I reflect on the oddity of my comfort in this place.
During the day, I customarily avoid this room. I am claustrophobic, and in the thrice-weekly chapel meetings here, it is a struggle to not feel that the roof is closing down upon me and may fall at any second. When I must be here, I sit towards the back, close to the windows–close to openness, freedom, safety. Yet, of my own free will, every Sunday night, I come back and sit towards the middle, close to the leaders. The roof still looms threateningly. I close my eyes and sing.
It’s dark in here. There is a light on the stage, and a light by the door. The corners are shrouded in deep gloom. I once thought one of my gloves was a mouse because I could not make out more than a shadow. I fear the dark intensely; I never quite got over my childhood terror. Alone, at night, I am often frozen in fear. I sleep with my back to the wall. Yet here I am, in the dark, and fear does not grip my heart. I can sing. I can pray. I can love.
There are people here. I rarely share myself and my emotions–I have been hurt too often to trust easily. But here, I cry, openly and unashamedly. I do not hide.
Against all logic, I feel safe here. And for that, I am grateful.
“Perfect love casts out fear.” And my fear is cast out.