Far too often in life, we see people drift away from the church and we simply don’t hear from them again, but rarely as churches do we gather to discuss where they’ve gone. . It’s an ongoing problem, one that seems to be growing. You see, I’m one of those people, and I’m finding more and more refugees out here on the battlefield where we’ve been sent to die.
Several times last year, I attempted to find a home church. Time after time, in varying manners of harshness, the answer was no. Sometimes I was told that I shouldn’t visit at all, once I was told that the church would never be ready for someone like me, and once I was told that even though I was welcome to attend, I simply couldn’t consider myself one of them by joining. Separate, but encouraged to support the church anyway. (Why would God have me support a church that refuses to support my family?)
So here we are. I float between churches hoping that one day, a church family will stick and I can take a break from trying to find a refuge in Christ where my friends and family would be welcome without judgement.
Here’s where things start to get a bit sticky. I’ve left your churches, and stepped right into water over my head. I’m out here floundering, gasping for air, begging for a lifeline like so many others beside me, a lifeline that you refuse to throw. Our screams are deafening. We’ve lost so many. Some have passed of natural causes, never having felt the loving embrace of God again. Some have taken their own lives. I can’t blame them, I’ve considered it myself at times. Watching people die the spiritual death that we witness out here is one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to cope with in my life, and I’ve seen much.
We see you though. We see you watching us silently from your fortresses, synagogues and sanctuaries. We watch as you worship and then embrace one another warmly, encouraging each other to embrace Gods grace, the same grace that was supposed to save me from this death. You love telling one another that you’re good Christian people, even if you are slightly broken.
We watch you as you ignore our pleas. We don’t blame you. Those chairs look comfy. We wish we had one. Let us know when you’re ready for us to come back in. Until then, we’ll be out here doing our best to rescue as many of your rejects as possible.