thoughts on church.

i visited church today for the first real time since my “hiatus” (Easter doesn’t count).  i’m not sure why, except that it’s been a rough weekend and i just needed something familiar, something like home.  i was quickly reminded why i’m going to maintain my hiatus.  here are some of my notes:

“i am weary with this life…or at least with the life the church expects me to live.  one of the tenents of Christianity is that this world is not our own, that we live toward a greater place.

so then what do we do with this life?  why can’t we just be ordinary, living out and appreciating the minutiae of life?  why can’t we settle into relationships and places and do the steady slow work of putting truth and life and light into the dark places?

we use such language to talk about God–rightly so, He is a big mystery.  but we think we have to constantly work to grasp Him, instead of just allowing Him to be big and us to be small.

why do we have to be aware of what the “enemy” is doing?  did Jesus ask this of us?  did he ask us to be so aware of darkness, or to just love the light so much we radiate?

this is why i’m not “doing church” right now…all of our language is laden with conviction, and some believe strongly that is the greatest catalyst for change.

but Christ brought grace.  He constantly met people where they were and told them He saw all of them, and His heart broke for them.  why do we keep trying to push people into the mold of who we think they should be?  instead of affirming who/where they are, allowing our love to provide space for the transformation they uniquely need, the transformation that looks like what they need it to look like.”

i went in this morning completely exhausted, emotionally, physically, mentally.  i felt weary and heavy and sad.  i needed an old friend and a couch to lay on.  what i realized is that the church is not for the weak, or the weary, or even the marginalized.  the only way to survive there is if you’re strong, happy, able to participate in “meet and greets” and smile.

i want to be that version of church i long for.  i want to be a place where people can find rest and unconditional love.  i want to be that all the time, not just on Sundays.  i want to be a person that meets people wherever they are, in whatever state, and says, “let’s be encouraged, because we are so dearly loved,”  because that’s the heart of what i need to hear.  and the heart of what i see so many around me longing for.

we don’t need another message about we’re not living up to some standard; i think we are all very aware of our shortcomings.  even those of us who’ve learned to hide it well.  we could all say, if we were really brutally honest, that we are crappy creatures.  we need to hear that there are good parts of us too.  that we were created in the image of a loving, beautiful God which means we are also loving and beautiful.  even when we’re messy.

that’s the church we need.

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