Stools and Pews
By Kathryn Taylor

I’m not impressed if you find me pretty…
Not impressed if you think me cool…
Not impressed if you want my number…
As I sit upon this stool…
With smoke and music thick and loud,
Everyone’s laughing and lying…
Pretending it’s the best of times
Even though we’re slowly dying…
I find myself surrounded,
by this slice of humanity,
that’s desperately seeking connection
with anyone who is free…
So many souls so close at hand…
So many hearts looking to heal…
All being numbed by their liquid potions
Just so they don’t have to feel…
Why is it that we gather here,
These souls in such discord?
Trying to rid that awful feeling
Of being completely ignored?

Looking for love in all the wrong places?... so often we seek the wrong ways and places to find acceptance...
I’m not impressed if you seem so godly…
Not impressed if your vices few…
I’m not impressed if you pray real pretty…
As you sit there in that pew…
With music loud in a praise-filled room,
Everyone’s singing and crying…
Are they all as perfectly happy
As what my eyes are testifying??
I find myself fully surrounded,
By this slice of humanity,
All praising the very same God,
Wondering why no one sees me…
So many souls so close at hand,
All seeming so very surreal…
Am I really standing amongst them
'Cause they don’t act as though I’m real??
Why is it that we gather here,
These souls of one accord?…
Wondering if I can ever fit in
When my life’s been so deplored…


So many out there lonely…
So many trying to fit in…
So many broken and hurting…
Such desperate women and men…
How do the wounded connect?
How do they turn life around?
How do they find acceptance
When their ships have run aground?
How do they find the answers???
How do they heal and grow???
How do they make the changes
From the only life they know?
...And,
If they don’t see much of a difference
‘Tween a barstool and a pew,
Don’t you have to ask yourself
Why it is that it’s true?
We are all white-washed tombs
full of dead men’s bones,
Each one of us judging another…
Each throwing our own stones...
But no matter where we’re at in life
We all fall short through sin,
And each of us is loved by GOD
No matter where we’ve been…
So, your acceptance and understanding,
Your compassion and concern,
Can make an incredible difference
In how a life can turn...
It can make them want to change…
It can make them run away...
It can make them not believe,
a single word you say...
The best way to understand,
is to step into their shoes,
Then seek to feel their pain,
And look beyond the clues…
Remember the life of Jesus,
how he dealt with those in pain,
never above or beneath them,
But gentle like the rain…
Satisfying the unquenchable…
Refreshing those who thirst…
And washing away the grime
Of those who suffered the worst…


2011
All rights reserved, ã Kathryn Taylor
Copying without permission for non-personal use is forbidden

Life is tough… Life is hard… Each one of us has hopes and fears… dreams and nightmares… flaws and strengths… successes and failures… beliefs and values… a past..and a future…

We all go through life trying to find happiness, meaning, companionship…  Some of us find it, even if for a few hours …or days, or even for years…  It’s funny how we look back on life and think, “How did I ever get here?  I thought I would never find myself doing this… living through that… struggling with this… putting up with that…”  And yet, that is where we find ourselves…

As my second marriage has crumbled around me this past year, I have struggled with all written above… This is the first time I have ever lived alone in over 25 years.  I have faced the gamut of emotions, distractions, and solutions to life.  Loneliness… a horrible situation… a void desperate to be filled… taunted me to the core…  All I knew was that to find comfort in another relationship was not a good idea.  The only other thing that I knew and believed was that my only way out was going to be through Christ. 
I found myself hanging out with friends at the bar staying aloof, not allowing anyone near… keeping everyone at arm’s length… taking on the role of Ice Princess…  At the same time, fearing I’d get sucked into a lifestyle I knew was unhealthy and lead to more pain, I sought out a church home to plug into, knowing God was my only hope to a future of health, happiness, and fulfillment. 

My experiences in both worlds saddened me deeply… At the bar, as I watched people lose their inhibitions, I wanted to cry… I’ve always been one to see deeper… to look beyond… to sense the pain… to view the world and life from multiple facets.  These folks were good, decent people settling for less than what God created us to have.  Everyone looking for acceptance, connection, value, appreciation… having to use mind-numbing substances to dull the reality of it’s lack of genuineness.  I wondered if there was any way to get any of my “new friends” to realize just what they were missing out on.  I just could not accept this world…
As I visited churches, I was astounded by how so many of them were.  I found this area of the country far more unfriendly than in the south.  Here, folks acting as though you are invisible… or a polite hello and moving on… the pastor shaking your hand as you come, and as you go... and not even ask you your name… This behavior would make any soul run right back into the friendliness of a bar…  There, a total stranger would buy you a drink…  Here, church folk won’t even invite you to stay for free coffee and fellowship…  No wonder there’s standing room only in the bars…
Fortunately, I knew there were godly, caring, truly understanding and compassionate people out there somewhere and I kept searching.  I did find them… I did get plugged into a church, I got involved in a Divorcecare group.  I was accepted, flaws and all…  I had a place that would encourage me to grow… to heal… To be accepted where I was at… They earned the right to confront my wrongs…  Encouraged me when I did right… Comforted my hurts and celebrated my growth…
I thank God for my roots, for the years I dug deep into God's word…. For when the wind blows… and the rains come… When my branches are whipped about and my leaves are shredded by the harshness of life, those deep roots of God’s word and HIS unfailing love keep me steadfast and sprouting new growth once again…

I still grieve though…  for those still lost… for those who can't find their way... for those who haven't tasted the true power of God's healing touch... those who are still trapped in the lies of this world...

KT


...♫♫A traveler is far away from home....He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row...The weight of their judgmental glances...Tells him that his chances are better out on the road♫♫...
If We Are the Body? by Casting Crowns
...♫♫So she sets out on another misadventure just to find She's another two years older... And she's three more steps behind... Does anybody hear her?... Can anybody see?  Or does anybody even know she's going down today... Under the shadow of our steeple... With all the lost and lonely people♫♫...
Does Anybody Hear her? by Casting Crowns