I see you there. You might have slipped in quietly as the service began or you might have been chatting it up as you came through the doors, but either way, now there you sit. Alone and exposed in a sea of families. 
I’ve been you. For different reasons in different seasons. You might be a single mom or just a single, braving a very family-centric environment alone. You might be sitting, praying for a husband to believe and to share in the faith you’ve found and hold dear. Maybe, like me, your better half’s work schedule keeps him away or he’s traveling, yet again, for work. No matter the reason, the pain, the vulnerability that comes from sitting alone is the same. And until it’s been you, it’s hard to understand. 
But friend, the church needs you. We need you to keep showing up. In this family-centric environment, you remind us God calls us to different seasons and we need to reach beyond ourselves.
You there, sitting alone, you are the functioning widow in our midst. We need to embrace you, to love you, and to remind you that this is why we are here. Our faith is expressed in reaching out and loving you. You provide a unique opportunity for us to love another and to break out of our mold. Please don’t take that gift away from us. 
Your gifts, your thoughts, they are needed in your local church. We need you here. We need you sharing and laughing and worshipping. We need you to serve and we need to serve you. You are a valuable part of the Body of Christ, not an after thought. 
So don’t give up. I know it’s hard sitting alone and awkward during greeting time. When everyone else is sitting with loved ones, it’s vulnerable to sit alone. 
“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.”
-Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV
Be vulnerable. Stand up and meet the person next to you. Be brave and ask someone if you can sit with them. Shake up the dynamic of the church with yourself — I promise you, it’s a good thing. Stir someone on to good both by example and by providing them an opportunity to love on you and your family. 
He knew you would be there, sitting, waiting to meet Him. And He will always prove faithful. He offers His very Body and Blood to you, sitting in that pew, to sustain and strengthen you. Your time spent in worship will not be in vain. 
So this Sunday morning, get dressed, put the kids in the car, and make your way to the pew. Meet your Savior there and see His love expressed through His hands and feet in those sitting next to you. It might be awkward. They might fail you. But He never will. 

Bailey Suzio

Bailey Suzio’s journey started out in Michigan, where she grew up as the oldest of 10 (yes, ten) children, and has led her to Hawaii with her husband and their two dogs. She has greatly enjoyed this opportunity to explore the history and culture of the Hawaiian islands. In addition to her love for the Lord and her family, her great passions are coffee and collecting an exorbitant amount of books. Bailey has spent the last few years teaching and working with a local church. She writes at http://thethinplace.net/ about her life, faith, and infertility journey.