I'm kind of battling a fair bit at the moment. With the concept of church, and the way I do church in particular. I'm struggling to understand why we do everything we do. Why we put so much emphasis and energy into a Sunday morning, and we work so hard, to make things look so good. I don't know if everything we do on a Sunday actually achieves much, you know? There is a world full of broken people with no hope, and we are hidden away in our buildings, worrying about this program and that program, making sure the music is current, and the graphics are cool, and talking about how to reach the unchurched. But sometimes it feels like all we do is talk, and keep ourselves really busy. Somehow, we end up placing too much importance on things that really don't matter, and we ignore the stuff that is really important. We put smiles on our faces, and joy in our voices, and we put so much effort into making sure that we are all just beautiful plastic shells that are broken inside.
It feels like we are this bunch of people who get together once a week to have meaningless superficial conversations. We have two minutes of small talk, and have these deep spiritual conversations, but we don't really know anything real about each other and we walk away lonely. I know I'm part of the problem. I keep people at a distance sometimes because I don't know how to talk to them. But I simply cannot believe that I am the only one who feels this way?
We talk lots about how good God is. And yes, He is good. I believe it with all my heart. But somehow it feels like we are talking about this superficial bandaid good. A good that makes everything look pretty, but leaves an ugly wound festering deep inside that is eventually going to cause that leg to get gangrene. I believe in the kind of good that sometimes has to rebreak the broken leg, and make you scream and cry out in pain, because baby, there's no anaesthetic. But yet somehow, you manage to walk around (much, much later) without any kind of limp.
I am so desperately tired of bandaids. I want the real fix.
To be honest, I'm a little bit broken hearted. I still love God. But I don't quite know where He is. Or something. Sometimes I wonder if I even know who He is. I get scared that I will be that Christian too busy wandering around with her head up her ass, so that she doesn't even recognize Jesus when she meets Him face to face.
I know that people are people, and just because we are Christians does not make us programable Jesus-bots (although sometimes, I really wish we were). But still, it's hard sometimes when you feel a bit let down by people. I am hurt, mostly on behalf of some people I love, but I think I am also hurt, because I truly believed we were different. And the thing is, when I am hurt, and angry, and frustrated at people, I am also hurt and angry and frustrated at me too. Because I know that I let Him down.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep." ( John 21:15-18 NIV)
I'm not feeding his sheep. I'm not. I'm the person Jesus tells three times, and I still don't get it. So how can I be dissolutioned by others who don't? Believe me, when I am sitting here having these deep thinks and pointing fingers, I am pointing at myself. I'm so bone-weary just making it through some days, that I don't even have the energy to think about feeding any sheep. I just don't know how. And of course, there are times when I am prompted to do some sheep feeding, and I always manage to screw it up somehow.
I am hurt. But I also do the hurting. I am let-down, but I know I've let others down. I am alone, but I leave others on their own too. When i talk about not understanding the church, I freely acknowledge that I am the church. And I want to be the church. But I want to be the church that I believe in, you know? I don't really know what it is I'm asking, or what it is I'm trying to say. But maybe when I figure it out, I'll let you know.