One of the reasons I am leaving CPC is it’s just too big. There are advantages to this but also some major downsides. I know a lot of people there. My brother used to make fun of me because we couldn’t make it from the front door to the sancuary without me saying hi to a few people and usually stopping at least once to talk.

However, the downside is even though I know a lot of people there, I’ve always felt a little……replacable. (Is that even a word?) People were always kind but I got this sense that if I just stopped showing up, no one would really notice. Oh sure, the soprano section leader would have noticed. But that’s because I hadn’t taken my name tag and checked myself off. People in the youth group would notice. But that’s a smaller setting and Andy knew me, obviously. The only place I ever felt like the people would care if I was gone was Teknon. And they did care. If I was late or didn’t show, I had a barrage of phone calls raining down. 🙂

And not to say that this is all about me and my needs and my need to be needed. Or wanted. But it’s nice to know that if something happened to me, people would notice that I was gone and would care. To my great surprise, I had this at College Park and didn’t even know it.

On Friday I stopped by to drop off a Christmas card for Debbie. Then I went back into the choir hall to see if there were pictures from cantata posted and just to kind of be someplace familiar. I’ve missed choir. I walked back out through the sanctuary and as I walked by the sound booth, I looked up and saw Jack there. Jack is one of those people where I’ve never been sure where I stood. We used to work together at Firm 57 and we’ve done VBS and everything together for years. But a lot of the time I just felt like I was pestering him. So when I saw him, I just called up a hello and waved and was going to keep moving. But his face totally lit up and he was all like, “Lauren! Come on up here!” I went up and he was asking me what I was up to and he said that he’d noticed that he hadn’t seen me around. I was like, “Are you kidding me? In all these people?”

Then on Sunday morning I stopped to make copies for Sunday school and for my mom’s class there on Tuesday mornings and Don Bartemus was in the office area. He also said something to the effect of they’d missed seeing me around.

Huh. Whoda thunk?

Especially since a lot of the time I tried not to get noticed. I tried out for a solo all of once and decided that I really didn’t like the idea. My piano playing in church consisted of me coming around 10:00 at night and playing to myself. Sometimes Debbie and Bill. I kept silent in our youth sponsor meetings and in small groups, I let Charity do most of the talking. Without a voice, it’s hard for people to hear you. If you aren’t heard, a lot of the time you aren’t seen. So in a way, it’s no surprise that I felt disconnected and like I wasn’t vital to anything. It also makes it an even bigger surprise that anyone noticed that I was gone.

Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean that I’ll be returning to CPC. There are reasons for my leaving far beyond whether or not people know I’m gone. I guess I just find it interesting that you can’t really know what effect you have on people until you take it away. I know that there are people that I’ve taken for granted will always be around and then suddenly they’re gone. And that’s when I realized how much they meant to me and how much I would miss having them there.

I know that I’m bad about expressing to people just how much they mean to me. Esp. men. There are men who I really respect and think very highly of. Some of which only know it because they read this blog. 🙂 (I think that’s why you guys read. You like that someone thinks you’re so cool. 😉 ) I hope that you guys (and girls) know what you mean to me. And know that if you suddenly stop showing up, I will notice. And I’ll hunt you down and drag you back. 😉