Monday, November 4, 2013

One Heart at a Time

Here's my unfortunate experience with church people: They are fake, judgmental hypocrites. The people who were most revered in my growing up church beat their kids, cheated on their wives, gossiped, judged, hated, and looked down on people. Ain't nobody got time for those folks and their God.

At The Movement, I encountered different people. Loving, accepting Christians who had kind non-judgmental hearts. However, even some I thought of as my kind of Christians show me their humanness if I mention hot button topics such as: Brad and I drink alcohol, my brother committed suicide or my sister-in-law is a lesbian. They don't judge me to my face. Honestly, if I weren't observant of body language I might miss their judgment. See, it is so subtle: an averted glance, an uncomfortable shifting in their seat, a quick, "Excuse me," as they hurry away from me.

Honestly, there is a part of me that kind of enjoys making people uncomfortable. Not because I'm sadistic, but because I much prefer those who are just right out in the open with their hate to those who pretend to be loving and accepting. So, when I tell you my feelings about homosexuality and suicide, I'm probably trying to gauge if we have any chance of being friends, and I'll know very quickly based on your reaction.

I am an open book. If I'm mad at you, I will tell you. If I think I offended you, I will apologize. If you say something that I don't agree with, I will listen to your point of view, but I probably won't change my mind. If you say something outwardly hurtful to me, I will be hurt, but I would rather be attacked to my face than gossiped about behind my back.

I try every day to be kinder, to be more patient, not to say unkind things about anyone, but I'm a work in progress, and I mess up.

This weekend, people showed up in a church in a bar not knowing what to expect. People who might have felt judged or looked down upon in church because of their clothes, past, or sexual orientation. But I think they felt loved and accepted. I saw them smiling and sharing their stories with others that they may never have met if not for a church in a bar in downtown Warren.

Some people mock God, church, and me, but that is okay, they're works in progress too. They might have been raised to believe that God is vengeful and punitive, and Christians are phony. We're all works in progress. But, I'm super grateful to a crazy redheaded pastor who trusted God enough to trade good for a chance at great. I'm grateful to my pastor/brother-in-law, who is the first Christian I ever met who loved and didn't judge. I'm grateful for my sister-in-law, who in her quiet unassuming way is gonna change the freaking world.

I'm outrageously blessed that I get to love and be loved by my beautiful family every moment. But today, I am overwhelmed by the opportunity to bring love to a community one heart at a time.

P.S. I don't really know how to spell judgement or judgmental, so I have relied solely on spell check and apologize for what I'm sure is a lot of inconsistency. Also, I promise this isn't a passive aggressive dig at any person. If you feel called out, it might be because God is telling you to check yourself. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

6 comments:

  1. I think if you feel the need to say that it's not a passive aggressive dig at any one person...well, y'know. Unlike you, I would know nothing about making people uncomfortable - I am totally going nude in your hot tub btw. I must leave now and go post penis selfies on your Facebook page.

    I love you, oh favorite little sister of mine.

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  2. I felt the need to say that because a lot of people do this; I wasn't picking out one of them. Additionally, I am the first person to read something and think, "Is he talking about me?" So, I was hoping to save someone from that. You and I are far removed from passive-aggressiveness. I love you!

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  3. "So, when I tell you my feelings about homosexuality and suicide, I'm probably trying to gauge if we have any chance of being friends, and I'll know very quickly based on your reaction." Love that.

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  4. Interesting piece. I really don't think its intentional when people get awkward. Especially when it is a topic that has absolutely no clear answer. I am familiar with this because of politics :-)

    I have been thinking recently that America now suffers from avoidance syndrome even more so in church. There is such a fear to having a dialogue about the most important topics. Because they are difficult we tend to hide them, or pretend there is consensus, or even worse isolate those that do talk about them.

    I have always wondered why theology has never adapted since the reformation (I suppose you could count evangelical movements but those were really in-spite of theology) and it seems like that avoidance might be the root cause. That unwillingness to engage is so dangerous.

    Anyways, I am glad to read someone else thinking about these things....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wiley, I appreciate your thought-provoking observations!

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