This whole God thing, yeah I believe, but I sure as hell can't figure it out. My inability to solve the Rubik's Cube should have prepared me for that. And when the prayers have no answers, no response? What else can I think, but that I have been abandoned?
The church and the religious have set our expectations for God. Do this, do that, you’ll get this. No wonder there are so many disappointed, so many non believers. I have a greater appreciation for atheists these days. I get it.
Where are the answered prayers, the healings, and prosperity? God exists, right? All powerful, yet so absent.
The church says love the sinner, but hate the sin. Don't judge others.
Yet the church hasn't taught us how to do this. The wounded and bitter leading the wounded and bitter. Offering cold fish evangelism with palm-size pamphlets and "how are yous?" that are more greetings than a true question.
The church prospers, yet still fails, leaving the sheep in the rain.
Hey bible beater quote me some scripture or churchisms to excuse the lack there of. The beaten, abused, sick, abandoned, and persecuted would surely like to hear it. It might cheer them up, give them a reason to feel guilty about their situation.
And God's expectations of us? Ha, our best and our worst are no surprise to God.
The Bible is supposed to be filled answers and direction. At times it comes up without any.... to believe all, some, none?
The shit I have going on might not seem significant to some, just as your situations won't seem like an obstacle to me. But we're all going through life, with all the ups, downs, and crazy somersaults. ‘Don't let the bastards grind you down.’
I had a great conversation on Friday with a friend. We didn't come up with any great revelations except for one very important thing.
You can take away all the gold and riches, forfeit your Maslow's Needs, close the churches, and what do we have left?
I've said for a long time… God, church, Christianity... it's not about rules and regulations, it’s about relationships.
Not about sin management. Not about not judging others.
It’s you and me. Me and God. You and God. Us.
Life, real life, is messy. We're humans with flaws, lots of flaws. We're wounded emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We have fears and regrets. Shame and poor self esteem help keep it all hidden. We isolate ourselves from friends and family to keep our dirt a secret. What would happen if you walked in to most churches and stood on the pew and emptied out your baggage in public? You’d be labeled and ridiculed. The first church goers to the restaurants would be talking about you before they left inadequate tips for the servers. Others would jump to your side to pray with and for you. And you’d still be waiting on those answers come August. Though, maybe, in some churches someone might take your hand and be real with you, take you out for a coffee. Listen to your story. And hopefully, they’d be willing to walk with you through your valley of darkness.
I don't understand why God let's all the bad happen... google more church-speak for that answer. The truth of the matter, shit happens, to everyone. Where does that leave us? Key word is "us."
We're strong, brave, resilient... we can do this, and we don't need 12 steps to do it. Just a bit of vulnerability and trust. Sure at times it will bite us in the ass. But better to have loved…so they tell us.
I'm not going to tell you to stop your prayers. To stop going to church.
I am going to tell you to reach out, to build your relationships, maybe even try to fix some broken relationships. (Some will never be fixed, because that's life and some people are assholes, too buried in their own hurt and pain.)
I was told that everyone needs at least two significant people in their lives, a mentor and someone to mentor. Relationship. Jesus told his crew to make disciples, not produce converts, not to fill mega churches.
This was more therapy for me. But in the realm of relationships, maybe it might bring some light to you. I need to put my struggles to the side for a bit and reach out to some people…
I'm still waiting, probably in vain, on answers to some prayers. I'm not holding my proverbial breath. But a 'Hey, I'm here.' from the big guy would go a long way to fill the silent void.
Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles that hide our pain
But the invitations open
To every heart that's been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade
Casting Crowns, Stained Glass Masquerade
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Ben E. King, Stand By Me