September 12, 2012

:the one where i confess the ugly:

last night i went to hear kathy escobar share her story. her smile radiates love and she bubbles over enthusiasm at the downward path, the road less traveled. the ugly-messy-beautiful road. the one of addiction to greatness and addiction to substance. both are crippling. both in need of acceptance and community.

kathy expressed the anger she experienced towards the church and her journey of rocking the boat.

as her words rolled out in her true california accent i felt a stirring in my soul. the truth is i'm angry at the church. not the body of christ but that church. the one that sent out the letter that shattered my heart into a million pieces. the one that told my friend he could not go before the church to publically apologize for mistakes made because that wouldn't look good. the one that told that fifteen year old boy he couldn't come back to youth group. the one that punished that girl for getting pregnant again.

 
 
 


When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” matthew 9:11-13
 
the church is no longer welcoming for the sick and broken hearted. it has become a haven for the better and the best. there is no room for failure. you must look your best, serve your best and be your best at all times.
 
what happens when addiction creeps in?
what happens when marriages are in trouble?
what happens when someone gets pregnant?
 
more times than not, it is swept under the rug or pushed out the door.

 
 
i'm guilty of hiding the pain, the past and avoiding those that expose it. it's hard to hear hurt, even harder to embrace it. yet that is consistently what jesus did.

While jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw jesus he fell and begged him, Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said, "Be clean!" luke 5:12-13

i read those words to eisley this week. i explained the cultures response to leprosy at that time. i explained that the man probably had not been able to go to church because he was considered unclean. her blue eyes welled with tears and she spoke the most profound words,

"mommy, if you had leprosy and couldn't go to church, i wouldn't go either."

jesus went down to the sick and hurting.
let it be so in my life.



 
 
 
 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for standing.

    I joined a church once, drawn to it because of the music but mostly because it honored and modeled humility by showing ugly. The first sermon I heard was titled "the top 10 killers of mature biblical unity", and the pastor talked about mistakes he had made in his career as pastor, mistakes made by that church community as it grew and split and healed some. I'd never heard anything like it.

    Sadly, it was that same church that couldn't hold the tension between their theology and Sandy's and my falling in love.

    We were the lepers of that day.

    I also think that the pastor saw another split coming if he had allowed us to stay, and he didn't have it in him to go through that pain again. I have some compassion for that.

    But I'm still angry to have been thrown under the bus. As I'm angry about that letter that shattered your heart.

    Let it enlarge our hearts. Let it be so.

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  2. I get this so much. It resonates and i hear you girl.
    I can't wait to talk more with you. Like i need you in my life. :)
    Hope your having a great day.
    love to you.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your heart! How precious and sweet is Eisley! Happy to be your newest follower! Blessings, Heather

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  4. Yes, yes, yes! AMEN! this post expresses so much of what's in my heart. thanks for sharing.

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words are like honey, sweet to my soul, so feel free to share yours.