This is the Church

Today I am feeling dark.

My temper is short and my nerves are annoyed. My words contain razors, my laugh hostility. The arms crossed against my chest say, “Don’t bother me.”

Or, “Don’t ask.”

Today I don’t belong in fellowship with the faithful because my bitter is catching, contagious. I pad excuses around my absence, from the inane to the self-conscious. I claim this too shall pass. And it will, because my darkness is a lurker, indifferent to circumstance, comfortable to come and go as it pleases.

Today I am dark.

But I will join the faithful, making sure to keep my distance, the hands on my hips announcing, “Unclean! Unclean!” I’d toll a bell, if I could.

Because I am the church.

* * *

Today she is feeling in limbo.

Her prayers are being answered but more questions are unfolding. Her words contain silent pleas, her laugh fragility. The arms crossed against her chest say, “He’s in Your hands now.”

Or, “Heal him, please.”

Today she fellowships away from her faithful. Her absence is felt in every voice calling down Heaven. We claim the plans You have for us. And so it shall be, because Your grace is sufficient.

Today she sees the fruit of our prayers.

And we gather around her.

And we will join her faithfulness, making sure to press in close, the hands raised to Heaven proclaiming, “Jehovah Rapha! Jehovah Rapha!” We’d break our knees on the altar, if we could.

Because we are the church.

* * *

Today the church is broken.

The church is broken and misunderstood. The church contains hypocrisy, short-sightedness. Pettiness and exclusivity. The locks on the doors say, “You are not welcome.”

Or, “You are not good enough.”

Today the church fumbles its leadership of the faithful because the condemning is catching, contagious. The church pads excuses around its holiness, from the inane to the self-conscious. The church claims hate the sin. And it does this well, because loving the sinner is harder.

Today the church is broken.

But it will gather the faithful, and the faithful will fall for God’s holiness instead of men’s, the hands joined together promising, “He loves! He loves!” We’d etch that across our picket signs, if we could.

Because this is the church.

And it is, we are, I am broken.

But God, God, God is beautiful.

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5 Comments

Filed under Faith

5 responses to “This is the Church

  1. Ricky Anderson

    So true. And we’re all guilty of it at some point, because we are the church.

  2. We just simply cannot accept it remaining that way. We have to extend grace to each other and ourselves, and strive to be be better tomorrow than we were today. And love God, and each other and our enemies and others.

  3. Stunning. Made me hold my breathe a little because I’ve been (might still be) in that same spot.

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