Posts Tagged ‘imperfection’

muddy church

February 10, 2010

I’ve been attending church since before I was born – literally – because I went everywhere my mom went! Then I was put in the nursery, toddlers room and children’s church and eventually began attending regular church services in 7th grade which I called ‘big church’.  My mother was the church organist and for several years my father was the choir director. I was there nearly every time the church doors were open. I didn’t mind (usually); I didn’t know any different!

I do remember one time faking sick so I could stay home and watch Mr. Ed the talking horse on television. I loved that show! Fortunately, but unfortunately, I had a healthy conscience, and I knew I had lied and would most likely be found out  . . .  which kept me from enjoying Mr. Ed  . . .  fully.

I’ve continued going to church, listening to sermons, learning, growing, worshiping and longing to become more like Jesus, because I love Him and I want to bring him joy.

I never intended to marry a pastor though. That wasn’t even a possibility I would have considered considering! (Maybe someday I’ll go in to all my former reasons!) But, because I fell in love with Les, the most incredible husband of all time, and because God had pastor-plans for him, I’ve been in church ever since!

Some people have a very jaded and negative view of church, and I don’t blame them. I’ve dipped in and out of that mindset on more than one occasion. During my lifetime I’ve seen so many terrible, hypocritical, wicked things happen in churches that should never have occurred. There have been abuses of power, misuses of authority, and sexual scandals, not to mention leaders who are greedy for money and notoriety who aren’t in ministry because of a genuine love for God or for the people He created. It’s all about them and it’s appalling.

Believe it or not, it isn’t The Church’s fault, it’s people’s fault. It’s easy to assume that going to church is to be avoided because of all the crap going on inside some of them. The Church is God’s plan and design, sin is not. Even though The Church is to be the bride of Christ, she looks as if she’s been mud-wrestling in a cow pasture. She’s gotten pretty dirty and doesn’t smell so good.

People are the problem, not God.

I know, some may present that age-old argument of how can a good God allow evil? It is precisely because God is good that he allows it, otherwise we’d all be toast. Evil was never in his plan, but giving people a free will, (I mean, what kind of an authentic friendship can develop if it is forced?) led to sin and sin always messes everything up.

Thankfully, in spite of all the junk, God still loves us and longs for us to know him and be in relationship with him. Mercifully he is slow to anger and abounding in grace, and that, my friend, is amazing!

What is also amazing is that in the many churches most people never hear about, those where the leaders and their people actually strive to love God and listen to him and obey him, he still shows up and helps us and allows us to help others!

It’s astounding what good things do happen in churches today! My husband and I are privileged to see people develop real, authentic relationships with each other and with God. We get to be a part of people’s lives as they marry, have kids, learn to parent, and face the many challenges that life inevitably brings their way. We get to be a part of helping people who are in desperate situations find a way out or through, whether they are local or half-way around the world!

The Church may be muddy, but she’s the best we’ve got!

enigma

January 13, 2010

The other day I got to wondering about something. It seems like the first 10-12 years of our lives set us up good or bad for the rest of our lives. I know that God is able to turn things meant for evil into good, and he is our healer. That isn’t what I’m talking about. He forgives our sins and makes us clean, but there are still the effects of sin (ours and others’) that we live with on a daily basis.

God doesn’t eradicate our negative life experiences. He doesn’t erase them. He doesn’t go back in time and make it as if those things never happened. If we were wounded, we live with a scar. If a parent dies, we live with the loss. If our parents divorce, we live wondering if we were the cause, always hoping that someday they will get back together again. If we were bullied in school, we still have those memories that may cause us to flinch when in similar situations.

Why is it that the events of such a short time, in relation to our entire life-span, effect us so intensely for the rest of our lives? The insecurities birthed in our childhood are basically the same, the fears perhaps have grown. I know there are many explanations, and I’m sure there are psychological/spiritual and other reasons – I just wish it weren’t so.

I’d like to believe that as I grow more mature and emotionally healthy – ( not just because I’m aging – I know plenty of older people who are not emotionally or spiritually healthy) – but because I’m working at it intentionally – that those old shadowy childhood fears and insecurities would be uprooted and chucked into a fire-pit and burned.

It’s an enigma to me.

I know that Christ makes all things new. 2 Cor. 5:17 says:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

but I also know that we are imperfect and until the perfect comes (Jesus) we just have to live with the shadows until they are completely eradicated by the light of Christ.

beautiful imperfections

January 12, 2010

This morning my husband and I watched a YouTube video a friend passed along to him. I wasn’t sure what to think at first. I watched with interest to the very end as tears welled up in my eyes. I looked into my husband’s eyes; he looked into mine and the silent communication between us was deep and rich, heavy laden with emotion. It’s amazing the memories that are mined when least expected.

This could have been our story with me being the one remembered, but for the grace of God. Please take 3 minutes to watch it. You’ll be glad you did!

beautifully imperfect

It is the little things that can enhance or diminish a relationship. Quirky little habits can become irritants if not viewed with proper perspective. Our irritation can turn into resentment which can be deadly. Or, when viewed through eyes of love, those quirky little irritants can become treasures.

As we were drying our eyes, my husband said to me, “I remember being so thankful to hear you snoring, knowing you were finally getting some rest.” How precious. How selfless. How full of love.

I want to express my love like that. I long to love so perfectly that my first thoughts are of him and not of myself. How imperfect I am. I’m so thankful for one who loves me through so many of mine!