Happy Friday! Time for my Five Minute Friday contribution. Check out the amazing five minute takes by our special community of writers at our Five Minute Friday spot at fiveminutefriday.com. Just start at the Join the Community section, check out and click on the Recent Post tab, pick your topic, and review the links at the end.
I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat, compiled by Susan Shipe. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Jolene who I hope inspires you to check us out or, better yet, try your hand at focused, unscripted writing for just five minutes. And don’t forget to share it with us!
“I stumbled across Five Minute Friday several years ago, when I noticed that several blogs that I read participated in the weekly link up. I checked it out one Friday night, and thought it was a fun idea and a great writing exercise. I didn’t realize then, that it is truly a community. The fellow FMF writers became my friends as we gathered each week and commented on each other’s posts. I have several friends that I would never have met if it had not been for Five Minute Friday. I am blessed to be part of this wonderful community of writers.”
The prompt is CHURCH, yes church. This should be interesting.The timer has been set, so I guess it’s time to GO…
My first thought after hearing the prompt was the old Sunday school nursery rhyme. You know, where you interlock your finger as you say the rhyme, extending first your two index fingers. then opening your hand.
Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple
Open the door and see all the people.
Honestly, as a kid I had trouble with that simple exercise. I kept trying to interlock my chubby fingers tips out, so I just had people’s butts when I opened the doors. I finally did get it — after what seemed like months of practice. However, when I tried it last night, I reverted back to my original attempts.
Seriously though, it has taken me years to understand the message beyond the playtime.
The interlocking fingers represent the church building, be it a grand cathedral with vibrant stained glass everywhere; a modern, bright, airy, contemporary church that lets the Son shine through; or an old, dusty country church with all it’s simplicity. It’s the structure, the brick and mortar, the furnishings and trappings, the nails and morticed corners.
The steeple is significant. It’s the marker that sets the building apart. It identifies the building’s purpose.
But then, you open it up and there are the people. The people. The people. The heart and soul of the church.
It took me a long time to make that connection. Church isn’t the building. It’s the people who make up the church, whether they actually go into the physical building, visit by Zoom, or soak in the presence of God … STOP
… in everyday life. Church is sharing and caring — not for the frills or trimmings, but for the message. Church is recognizing a Higher Power in your life. Church is looking inward contemplatively and reflecting that sense of peace and purpose outward.
That little exercise last night reminded me of Paul’s words, When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me — 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV). And so it is.
Don’t confuse buildings with heart and soul. Don’t confuse church with Church.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Smile — It increases your face value.