“And there’s nothing short of dying, that’s half as lonesome as the sound of the sleeping city sidewalk and Sunday morning coming down.”
Whenever I hear these words, written by Kris Kristofferson in 1970 and sung by Johnny Cash, I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Whys it that? Why should a song about a burnt out drunk wandering the city streets on a Sunday morning move me, Church Lady? I believe it is because these words touch on all of our deepest longings. They speak of the pain and loneliness that we suffer when we are separated from God. I believe Kris knew exactly what he was writing because he experienced it, just as many of us have. The song continues:
“I stopped beside a Sunday school and listened to the songs they were singing.| Then I headed down the street and somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing.| And it echoed through the canyons like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.”
Are you currently in this place of separation? Do you feel nostalgic or downright sad whenever you hear an old hymn being sung, one that takes you back to your childhood, a song you heard and sung while you sat in the pew beside you parent or grandparents?
Well I can tell you from experience that this is not some fluke or accident. It is the Holy Ghost tugging on your soul, wooing you, trying to bring you back to the source, back to God.
So maybe it’s time you stopped walking past the church on Sunday morning and went inside. Go back home. Your father is waiting for you. If you’ve lost your way and don’t have a church home, then go to any church. Christians of all stripes will open their arms and hearts to welcome you. And so will Jesus. He’s been missing you just as much as you have him.