dear people who have been hurt in the church:

July 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

Dear people who have been hurt in the church:

We have something in common! I have only attended church sporadically since we left Mississippi, myself. We, too, were hurt at a church, as some of you may be aware.

Why do we expect church people to be better than anybody else, though? We are all just flawed human beings. And all of us HURT about something. Sadly, sometimes people who are hurting inside themselves, very often take out their hurt on other people. I’m quite sure I’ve been guilty of that, even at home. I’ll be in a bad mood because of something that happened during the work day, and come home really upset, and feeling angry when I’m with my family. And, of course, that’s not fair to them.

But, it’s like my husband has always jokingly told our kids when they say something is not fair. He’ll say, “FAIR? A fair is a place for pigs and horses. Life is not fair.” (Cute, huh?) But it’s so true! Life is not fair.

Bad things happen to us all. Sometimes those bad things can’t ever be fixed. And it’s not fair! But, God is still God. He is still on His throne. I try to look at it this way: I do not deserve to be declared righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ. But, because of His sacrifice, I am declared righteous in the eyes of God Almighty. ME! Righteous? Not because of a thing I’ve done, that’s for sure! Because I am definitely FLAWED. I have made wrong choices in my life. I’m sure I have hurt people in my anger over having been hurt. I definitely do not deserve to be set apart as God’s child. I’m too selfish! I sometimes think of myself before others. I get ticked off because people have the nerve to be hateful to me! I am guilty. And I do not want justice! God has declared me righteous because of the blood poured out by Christ for my sins. So, let me just say: I don’t want what’s fair. No sinner does. We want God’s mercy. And we should also extend God’s love and mercy to others. Even the ones that hurt us. ESPECIALLY to those folks!

How can we keep people we really like from turning on us? We can’t. Where can we go that people will not hurt us? No where! Not to the grocery store! Not to the post-office! And, NO! Not even to the church. Because we are ALL imperfect. Even God’s people are imperfect. I know for sure, because I’m “God’s people”.

But a much better question is: To whom can I show the love of God? Who else has been wounded in the house of the Lord? We are definitely not alone. Who else is going to a church and may need to feel comfort and love from someone else? I don’t know. But, I know for a fact that they’re out there, and I can find some of those! Who else at church may need an understanding soul to lean on? They’re out there! And, you and I have the perfect ministry within us to help. (Now, we don’t have to start any new ministry…And, I surely don’t feel like starting anything new at this today!) But, we can just quietly, purposefully attend a worship service, and reach out to people in Christian love. Even if it’s just with a smile, or a welcoming ‘Hello!” We can be part of the reason someone who comes to church for the first time wants to come back. Or we can be part of the reason someone who has been hurt by church folks learns to love the house of the Lord once more. We can make a difference for one hurting person. I can. And, YOU can, too.

When we abstain from church fellowship, we are only hurting ourselves. And, after all, the people who hurt us in a church? They’re not sitting around thinking about how they did us wrong. They’re not thinking of us at all!

I listen to Christian pastors on the radio most every day. I need that time! But, we really need to get up Sunday morning, and go to the house of the Lord. I’m going this Sunday. And I haven’t been in a long time. We need to hear God’s word. We need to fellowship with other believers. We need to be a part of working for the good of God’s Kingdom. And we need to reach out to others at church who need a loving, Christian friend.

I just want to encourage you as I encourage myself! You have so much love with which to reach out to others at a church. Yes, there will be people everywhere we go who can potentially hurt us. Put on your full ARMOR of God, and get to church, soldier! There are lots of people there who need you! And me! We can be the reason someone like us suddenly finds a church they love again after having been hurt in a church. And you will be so blessed by doing for others. You’ll see!

I’m going to church on Sunday. You go, too!

Entry filed under: the daily grind.

a poem I just penned: The Lazy Laundress ode to a great bordeaux, 1991

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