Saturday, August 01, 2009

Migration: What Now?

This post was originally written in March of 2000... it's been revised slightly to appear here on the blog. It's my vision of what church should look like.

For a long time, when hurting, at-risk kids and parents came to me for help, I wanted to know - the "judge" in me wanted to know - "Did she jump or was she pushed?" Things like that matter to the judge. But after awhile, broken and battered myself, compassion posed a new question. "Does it matter? She's broken. What now?"

Jim Hancock, Raising Adults: Getting Kids Ready for the Real World
That's our question... not doing a postmortem on the lives of the broken people around us and among us... but asking "What now?" and knowing that the love & hope & grace of Jesus Christ is the answer.

And, if it's really the answer, and we're *really* Christians (or, to sort of translate, "people who follow Jesus' example"), THEN we are the vehicles for the love & hope & grace that people so desperately need.

Maybe you're one of them... maybe you have been longing for someone to realize how broken and screwed-up you are really are... someone who can offer hope. Well, we who follow Jesus Christ LONG to do that... but we're pretty screwed-up sometimes ourselves. Let us know your hurts and your needs... take a chance and see God work through the community He built, His church. Really.

Cuz if you're "one of them" (the messed-up people)... you're one of us. All of us have "fallen short of the glory of God" (which is the Bible way of saying that the good & right life that we were created for remains far out of reach because of our abysmal way of living our lives.) So, you're in good company. We're not going to laugh at you, or call you names, or find ways to marginalize you at social gatherings. Jesus liked to hang out with messed-up people and show them truth and hope... so do we.

When we don't, when we fall back into wearing masks of "everything is ok" and putting you off with less-than-authentic lines we're mouthing like a badly dubbed movie... call us on it. Tell us where we've gone wrong. Our dream and desire is to act as a channel for Christ's love... so if something is clogging up the delivery spout, show us and we'll clean it out together.

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