Sunday, August 17, 2008

Learning To Love: Even Church People Too

One of the young ladies who used to be in my youth group when she was a young teen posted this as a note on Facebook today.
So who cares if I smell like baby shampoo?
And if I wear flat shoes and an ankle length skirt from India? And a beaded necklace made by a five year old? My favorite bead is the Polar Bear one...
Who cares if I only sing repeated worship song verses ONE time?
Am I not as Christian as the woman in front of me?

Does it matter that the tech boys in the back think I'm weird for slipping my shoes off whenever I pray?
I drink Lemonade instead of coffee. I hate coffee. Wait, am I suddenly un-fellowshiping? Every Sunday morning Christian I know drinks coffee.

Doesn't everyone say that we should "come to God as we are...."?
God loves me that way I am, right?
Then why do we try so hard to look like every other christian we see?
How many bible studies are cliches?
My hardest christian struggle is not having my devotions every day. How about you? Yours is probably the same; at least in front of all the other devotions-struggling Christian you smile at every Sunday it is.

Perhaps I'm the only one who feels like we are all faking it.
It's like everyone I see is asleep. What is wrong with our brothers and sisters? For some reason, the passion of David, the strong will of Nehemiah, the devotion of Noah, the Patience and Faith of Abraham, the strength of the Martyrs, the very background of our family's gone.
Since when has becoming an heir of the kingdom of God become a back burner project we turn to on weekends?

I feel like grasping the entire intensity of following my King in my hands and burning myself. Forget the back burner, I want a consuming fire for our nation, for our world.
WOW! That is the only thought I could think when I finished reading it.

I certainly had some of these exact same feelings at twenty years old. I did not respond like she did. When I really pressed into God at 18 I became so angry at the duplicity of the weekend pew warriors. I tried by 21 to pull away from God, but he would not let me go. He never let me go. Still, I always kept a distance between me and them. Their "safe Jesus" was way too dangerous for me. I needed the "unsafe Jesus" to give me comfort. When I was 25 I left paid church work mostly because although I had a depth of love for God and a love for the least of these worthy of any reading of the greatest commands, I just could not find a way to love "the Sunday saints."

So for years I have accepted the distance between me and them. I have accepted that myself and the majority of them are cut from very different fabric. I have preached to inspire. I have screamed passionately that they might catch a vision bigger than they have known. Yet always, when I stepped down from the stage, I have kept my distance to hide that I could not love my "fellow saints." I have celebrated the flashes of Kingdom in people's passion, only to watch them return to their normal mediocrity.

Then comes this past summer. Everything has changed. I find myself listening to the Spirit's leading and asking people if I can pray a blessing over them. I find myself weeping for people, rather than preaching at them. I find myself in love with these church folks, I have tried to keep so safely from. God is good, and I have been humbled to see how "least of these" applies to those with only religiosity. So now I go, and want to see them, see Kingdom come.... on earth (their lives, their homes, their minds personally) as it is in heaven.


gerbmom said...

Wow - I get her. I'm 50 (yes, sad but true) and I still get mad at this very thing. Hence some of the blog posts lately......
Good for her, and thanks for posting it!
Oh - and I posted todays blog before I read this, it's kinda related.....

Elysa said...

So good, Kevin.