And So Reality Becomes Reality

June 16, 2005 at 9:10 pm (Church)

It is a hard thing to see from afar the problems and inconsistancies, yes, the sin, in the Church. It is a hard thing to sit back, removed, and observe with great sorrowthe decline of God’s people. It is a hard thing for one such as me, an idealist, desiring so greatly to see and experience the Church as laid out in the New Testament, and yet having it be always just out of reach, dangling tantilizingly in front of me, offering community, love, and belonging, yet still being so far away. At times I almost feel as if it taunts me, mocks me, dares me to try to reach a little further…and I grasp, and clutch at thin air, finding more of the same. I have wept, I have ached, I have felt so great a burden for the Church, and its state. Yes, it is a hard thing to sit by and watch all of this.

I never thought I could feel a greater hurt, a great heartache, than seeing this slow progression downhill, and feeling helpless to do anything about it, just a small being in the midst of a convoluted religious system that has lost its first love and forgotten why it exists.

I was wrong. For, you see, it is one thing to sit on the sidelines doing what little I can, always struggling to do more, and another thing entirely to suddenly be thrust into the thick of it personally. To suddenly be slapped in the face with the reality of what I have observed for so long. To suddenly be awakened, like a gust of bitter cold wind permeating my being, to the shocking truth of all I have observed.

And it is indeed a cold feeling. Emotionally, I feel sapped of all warmth, of all comfort, and though I fight to cling to it, almost of all hope. The hurt I felt before is nothing compared to this. This – this fact that Christians really don’t act like they should towards each other – and somehow that’s works out to be okay in people’s minds. Somehow, it’s okay to lie, to deceive, to gossip, generally speaking, to not act like the loving, supportive, encouraging community that God designed the Church to be.

No, I am no longer an on-looker. Here I am, standing still while contradictions, lies, gossip, and who knows what else I don’t know? whirl around me. Here, now, I experience the heartache that comes merely for trying to serve God and help to change kids lives. I am confused – the contradictions, the excuses, the lies – who to trust? People I thought I could trust – no more. I am not perfect. But I live everyday trying to please God – trying to strive toward that seeming unreachable goal of true community – changing what needs to be changed in my own life to do my part. And I am angry. Angry that so much time has been wasted trying to deal with this rather than working together to try and help these students. Angry at the Church for being filled with such hypocrisy. Angry at God for letting the Church be filled with such hypocrisy.

I am broken-hearted. Part of me wants to give up on this crumbling establishment that God seemed to think was such a good idea – just walk out, leave it behind – not my faith, mind you, but them – all of them. They don’t care, so why should I?

And yet I do care – so deeply it hurts. I have never cared more, and I know that that is not the answer. I know I could never leave this – no matter how corrupt it has become. In some twisted way, I am attached by bonds that I did not form. And that is what makes me care so much. This is, after all, my family. No, it is my lot to live in this tension and look foward to, if nothing else, the day when Jesus will make it all right again.

For now, I will wait here, until the dust settles, and I can see again. Perhaps – perhaps there is yet hope out there. In the midst of it, it is difficult to see. I can only look up.

And therein lies my solace.

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2 Comments

  1. Len said,

    An old cliché: When you’re flat on your back, the only place worth looking is up. Looks like you’ve already got the right idea.

    Praying…

  2. Diana said,

    It hurts. I understand. The pain so deep of wanting something that should already be. Your heart and your eyes…they cry. Yet, what to do? Give up? Run away? Yet, love. The pain you feel so deep, yet Christ feels more. Paul must have felt it too…yet there is no comfort. There are no words I can say that will help you. But Christ…and prayer…and love. Keep the love in your heart, even when it hurts. You love those kids. Keep pressing…Keep the faith…Keep going, because Christ wants you to. Don’t give up on the church, because He never does…and its him you continually strive to please. And I…I continue to pray for hearts…the broken ones and the ones that need to be changed. He is able to do both healing and changing. And in His own time, He will.

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