Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The other day I went to get some blood work done at the hospital for a yearly checkup. As I entered the doors of the hospital and looked at the Emergency Room area I remembered the many times we have visited. The time my daughter’s throat swelled up because of an allergic reaction to some meds, a finger needing a few stitches, my father’s visits – some needed – some not so needed, the visiting of friends and praying for them as a crisis was averted…. As I sat there I was grateful for the availability of hospital care.
As I sat there I realized that if I were sick and needed attention right away, I would come through the doors of this establishment. I would come to where I knew I could find help.
It was then that it struck me. I think the world that we live in views the established church in the same way. If they are having spiritual questions or having a spiritual crisis the first place that they would think to go would be to a place of spiritual healing – a 'church.' Now I would hope that they would know a Christian and talk to them first but the fact is that in our world today the most common response would be to look for help in the doors of a building that says that they represent the God that you are looking for.
Then on Tuesday, our local chamber business group was invited to the opening of a new church building in our area. Marsh and I have known this pastor since coming to the area as he was on of about 6 churches that participated in some city things with us. We decided to go and participate as Marshall is part of the chamber now with his new job. Plus we wanted to congratulate the Pastor and his wife who we knew were probably pretty happy to finally have a home for their congregation.
As I walked through this new building I realized that in the same way that the hospital will draw those who are in need physically this new building would draw those who were in need spiritually. For the first time in a year I saw that as a good thing. This church would not be perfect, the pastor would not always do the right thing and surely the members fight about stuff, but mostly it has remained a healthy church through the time that we have been here. The staff has not changed drastically year after year and the feeling you got as you talked to the leaders of the different departments was that they might actually care for those who are there.
So I walked into a ‘church’ building the other day and did not throw things. I saw that it could actually be a good thing for the people in this community. I would say that I might be healing up a bit wouldn’t you?
Friday, July 4, 2008
Jeff asked yesterday where everyone was. Our little part of the blogsphere is a bit quiet these lazy summer days.
I know for me that the summer months full of kids home from school, the life guarding duties at our pool, sandwiches to make and times just to sit out in the yard and talk has dulled the desire to sit inside with my laptop and think. Add to that, my business has really picked up, company in and out from various places, a weekend in Maryland at the beach for Marshall’s business and an hour walk at night to get some exercise and I feel kinda busy.
But mostly…..I think I am about done processing my journey out of my old church. I’ve tried to stop thinking about all of it before. I realized that I could not just focus on the past. I knew I should walk away and into the next things. I even tried at times. But you know what? Nothing worked till it just did not matter anymore to me. And suddenly, that is where I find myself.
Maybe it is because I have a short memory. Maybe it will all come flooding back at another time. Maybe I will get all passionate about the things I went through and what others did to me. Maybe...but I don’t think so.
I started blogging about all of this a year ago. As the year turned I returned to my old posts and read them. I can remember the pain I felt then. I remember Church Lady and feeling like she was disappearing. I remember when the word prayer would make me want to puke. I remember being so hurt at not being invited to the pastor’s daughter’s wedding. Friends for 20 years. (I downed a whole bottle of wine that night. Vowed never to do that again.)
I’m still glad for those posts. I receive the most hits on my post, The Person Formerly Known as Your Leader (my repentance at what I had done as a leader.) I still loved that I wrote that and it is still healing to me today. Mostly I love the posts because they remind me of the Grace and Love that the Father has poured out on me during that time.
But the pain is fading. I simply don’t have it anymore. The voices of doubt are just not there anymore, the depression is not my constant friend, and it has been months since I have had a dream about them. And therefore I can turn away from it and think about other things.
I guess what I am saying is this. If you are in the middle of the hurt, betrayal and pain - don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, you know you should not be focused on these things. Yes, you know you should forgive. Yes, you know you should walk away. But you know what? That can’t happen until you just don’t care anymore. And when that happens, you will be able to do all those things. So give yourself some space to heal. Trust me, the healing will come with time.
So my posts may be fewer. I’m still going to write about what I am learning about Grace. I’ll still share the journey with you all if you care to read. It just may not be as intense as last year.
And that is ok with me.