I was thinkin’ this morning over coffee.
- My YouBible friend—verbally abused by a church in New England because of her mental illness. she just could not play the church lady game. You know? I find her brusque, shocking, abrasive honesty refreshing, but it was too uncomfortable for these folks. I get both sides, but ouch!
- A close friend who, newly released from prison where he had found Jesus and himself, was told by a church that he could not attend or volunteer because of his crimes against children. (modern day leprosy?) I get it, but ouch!
- Another close friend who, after having disclosed some struggles in pastoral counseling, was humiliated and told he could not volunteer at church and had to go get some counseling and an ongoing review of his media in order to even remain in attendance. He went into a deep depression and almost lost his family. Needless to say, he left church.
- Flash back: my grade school kids sitting in the living room, me on the floor with my 6year old twins. pastors on my other couch. I thought they had come to offer healing and pray for us. Wrong. They came to kick me out of church, basically.
(I had gotten lost on a nightmare journey to pick up my Jr High and oldest children from a youth group party FOR HOURS IN THE COUNTRY DARK with my little ones in the back seat crying, then verbally reemed by a church member when I finally got home and called to get directions (no cell phone.) I had a history of not picking up my kids on time, to be fair. I was a very dissociative young woman.)
It was like a verbal rape. His volcanic, violating vitriolic anger! Whoa. triggered something from his own childhood?
We ended up leaving that church. The kids and I just could not get over what happened in our living room that morning and with this whole thing. And being told it was my fault. (Note to self: dressing down an abusive parent in front of their child does not help the child. It retraumatizes them.)
I get it on both sides, but ouch. 💛
I know there are other people who could tell stories to match. It seems WE
have hurt as many people as we have helped– The Church. I mean, right?
How do we get OVER it? We still have to get up and have our cornflakes and ☕ the next morning. I was talking to God about it during my morning sit.
(Lord I need YOUR help here. I can’t remember everything You said.)
Okay, you know how God can say a thing in thirty seconds and then it takes three HOURS to try to tell someone else what He said? I am already taking four-times-forever to say this here. 😬 🙏
having said that, I’m gonna have a go anyway.
Things I have gained because of this:
- I’m not all that and a carton of 🍟: some gibley humility.
- Pain softened ❤ heart
- Kindness toward myself and others
- Gratitude for this healing
- Inoculation against spiritual pride (ever a generational Achilles heel). Not that I can’t fall to this weakness now, but having almost died of a church wound, I am much less likely to inflict one. Wry smile. 😉
- A gentle quiet knowing under my belt, in my soul. Between me and God. I have this treasure. Me and God. 💛