I grew up sitting with my family, every Sunday morning and evening, in the second row. I eventually heard the phrase “back row baptist” with all its negative connotation. And gradually I was formed by a “I can’t sit on the back row, what will people think?”
Then I had a child.
And found a little something sweet in the back row.
Truth: I’m less worried about a fidgeting Anna.
Even more truth: I’m less visible in the back of the room than I am on the second row and there’s a release and a relaxation there.
Recently Anna and I were in the back row, both not feeling great due to colds, and she leaned into me as I worshipped, joyfully and tearfully. It was sweet and intimate with Jesus and I breathed a deep exhaling sigh.
I say to 12 year old Chelsea: don’t be afraid or judgmental of the last row. Belong to God. Be present to Him. Wherever you sit.