Saturday night design sesh. I’m thinking about tomorrow morning. The thousands of people sleeping in their beds, resting before the chaos that awaits them when they walk inside those church doors. I’m talking about the pastors, the workers, the volunteers. The people who work their asses off to put on a show and make people happy, so that they come back and give more money the next week. Sunday mornings were never about God for me.

They were about smiling and being charming and doing a good job. And small talk and head nods and pretty clothes. It was such an event. It was so exhausting. I mean I loved it, at the time. That feeling of self-satisfaction during lunch when I felt like I had done a good job. I don’t know why I thought it was so great. I don’t know why I tried so hard. I do not know which parts were real.

Which parts were real? Did all of those people actually care how my week had gone? Were they really praying for me? Maybe they just liked the fact that I entertained their kids for an hour. Or that my dad said nice things that made them feel good. I know I didn’t care. And I sure wasn’t praying for them.

Was the Holy Spirit really at work within me? Maybe I was I just trying very hard to impress people. Did I mean a word I said?

At one point in Harry Potter, Voldemort gains power and the entire resistance order must go into hiding. Harry and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix are barely in contact with one another. Their only form of connection is a radio station that speaks in code and plays uplifting music. As Harry is out finding horcruxes, he clings to that station as his only source of hope. That radio station is where he finds the encouragement to keep fighting. It keeps him focused and gives him strength.

The church should be like that. The church should be like the Order of the Phoenix’s radio station. The place you go when you are desperate—like you always are—to be encouraged by the people fighting the exact same fight as you. This battle is so much more important than small talk and pretty clothes would lead you to believe. Christianity is so much heavier than I ever felt when I was at church. It is not comfortable. It’s dangerous and scary and bold.

And it is very, very. Very. Real.

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