Since being back in NYC, for the last week and a half, I have gone to a different church every day for Daily Mass.
And as much as I wish I could say I was 100% going for faith and spiritual purposes, I would be lying if I didn’t say that 62% of my reason for attendance was because I am…#HusbandHunting.
Some women lunch down on Wall Street in the hopes of meeting Mr. Right. Some women attend daily mass. Po-ta-to, Po-tah-to.
Don’t judge me, but I go full hair and makeup in the hopes of fortuitously bumping into the future Mr. BBB. Not that I don’t trust God’s plan and timing, but let’s just say…I’m giving Him a little help. Trying to speed up the process, if you will.
But it’s actually been a really interesting exercise to go to all these different churches in all these different neighborhood around the city.
I’ve been in, of course, St. Patrick’s cathedral, where I was dodging tourists taking photos on their iPads.
I’ve been in sleepy chapels with only 3 other people. I’ve been in Spanish speaking masses where they sell homemade empanadas outside on the sidewalk afterwards. Even one where the song books were written in Chinese! (I wish I would have taken a picture!) Uptown. Downtown. Midtown. Brooklyn.
And no matter where I went, there was one, glaringly obvious similarity…
There were no young people.
Nope. Not a single under-30 to be found. With the exception of one couple I saw that were clearly in a relationship, all the other people in the pews were either geriatric, or recipients of AARP magazine. (And no offense to either of these wonderful groups of people. I love ya, but this girl’s lookin’ for a husband, here!)
But after the end of the second week of, again, being the youngest in the room by an easy 20 years, I was feeling very discouraged. I sat there in the pew, looking up at the crucifix and seeing Jesus literally hanging there, it made me really sad to think that here’s this incredible gift that He gave us, and nobody flippin’ cares.
The pews were empty.
And listen, I’m not some holier-than-thou exemption either. Sitting there in my high heels and lipstick, my attendance clearly had ulterior motives.
But the emptiness was definitely alarming.
And I get it, just because you don’t go to church doesn’t mean you don’t love Jesus. That’s not my point here either. But it just saddened me to see church attendance literally on life support.
Is this it? Have we finally reached that moment where Christianity has become obsolete, minus a handful of out-of-touch “bible bangers” who don’t know the difference between Kanye and Kenya?
Have we finally reached the moment where Christianity has become irrelevant?
The answer: Faith is needed now more than ever.
Yeah, sure, it may be more interesting to sit around on our iPhones and read about the latest sexual abuse allegation on Twitter. Or watch Instagram Stories from your friends, or scrutinize Kylie Jenner’s snapchats and whether or not she has a baby bump.
Sure. Those things are definitely technological luxuries of the time, but the fact is, we need to pray for this broken world.
We need to pray for those empty seats.
We need to ask Jesus to help those who are hurting and to move in the hearts of those who could be filling those empty pews.
But here’s the truth of the matter: we need to be Jesus’ hands and feet here on Earth.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean going out and evangelizing on the street corners and handing out your church’s business cards at the water cooler. Although, that would be great if you did.
It starts in the way you treat people.
Are we living with compassion and empathy? Are we creating a welcoming environment for those who may be at church for the first time?
Are we making faith attractive, or is it more of an exclusive club with lofty prerequisites and impossible standards.
If we want those seats to be full, we need to make it a place people want to be.
I’ll be going to mass here again in a little while. And tonight, I’ll be praying for those empty seats. For the conversion of hearts. For the hurting in our world.
May I be a source of hope in this dark world. May I make His gospel seem inviting.
And may I find a freakin’ husband.
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