“Doesn’t it make you mad? I mean, where was the church in all this?”
The accusation caught me by surprise, and I got a little defensive. I took a breath before responding:
“The church isn’t perfect. It’s made up a people – imperfect people. Imperfect people who called him, texted him, offered to visit him. Imperfect people who tried to do the same things he would have done before he chose to try life without God or the church. Imperfect people who tried but got ignored or harshly pushed aside. Imperfect people who continue to try to invest in his life even if he has no idea. Imperfect people who have helped me, had tough conversations with me, been patient with me, and have loved me well – and imperfectly.”
I’m not saying the church has never mishandled responsibility. History reveals the church’s apathy and harsh response at times. But other times, it is trying. Even when God-prompted, everything doesn’t get tied up in a tidy bow. Life is messy, and that includes church life. People under the umbrella of church have hurt people. I hate that. I’m sorry. People under the umbrella of church have also loved people. Abundantly. Sometimes that love is well received, and other times, it is rejected. When someone isn’t sensitive to God, it’s convenient to misconstrue what people do in God’s name. It’s easier to blame than take responsibility.
So today, notice someone’s need. Reach out to someone. Extend grace and forgiveness. Be patient. Listen well. Love abundantly.