I'm So Sorry!!!
My heart has been so burdened for those who have suffered injury at the hands of the church. The numbers are astronomical. The relational brokenness we see in our world is but a mirror of what has occurred within the church. I’m not here to berate the church or bring criticism. It’s merely an observation I have had through the years and it has awakened a desire within my heart to not only pray for these but to contend for reconciliation. The old saying is so true, “Hurting people hurt people.” And the church is full of hurting people as it should be. The church is not to be a gathering place for the perfect but a sanctuary for all of society to come and learn about the God Who loves them. It should be a place of solace and security, a place of nurturing and noble encouragement. Sadly, however all have not found this to be true and my heart is so broken over this. Often when these hurts occur the injured will merely slip away never to darken the doors of the church again. I want them to know that Jesus pursues them. Jesus never came to establish structured religion; He came to call us into relationship first with Himself and then with each other. We cannot get away from the depth in which we need each other yet often we are so bad at loving each other well.
I believe Jesus is leaving the 99 to search for the one and He is wooing these back to Himself. His heart breaks over the injustices and the indignities that they have suffered. I just want to stand in the gap for the broken and say, “I’m so sorry. We are here to model Jesus and He would never have done this to you.” Those who have not found Him yet should find Him through our love and hope-infused words. I want to stand in the gap and say, “I’m so sorry we have judged you when we should have loved you. I’m sorry we have picked you apart when we should have picked you up.”
We long to find refuge, and places of security. We long to be safe, whole, and free from lack. We must become safe harbors from the storms of life. Grace and love must be our defining characteristics, where often judgmentalism and a critical eye has been what we are known for. We have been champions at our causes and fiascos at what matters most, loving people. What a difference this could make in the lives of so many if we could unify our hearts with Jesus and each other to endeavor to provide this type of atmosphere not only in our homes but in our houses of worship as well.
John 8:1-12 - The only one Who could have stoned this woman never picks up a rock. He releases her from her sentence and releases her to live in freedom. Love is a powerful antecedent to a life of victory. This woman was drug out of bed with another man where is he in the scathing rebuke brought by religion? She faces the religious crowd alone – this in itself is hypocrisy and Jesus faces it head on. We must all, as these did, drop our rocks, realize our own brokenness, and turn from a life of condemning to a life of kindness. Jesus offers us to live in the light that He lives in and carry this to the world. We often revel at pointing at the darkness in others rather than offering our hands to help them step into the light. “I’m so sorry. For all the times we hurled stones and have not modeled the kindness of Jesus.” Romans 13:10 AMP - “Love does no wrong to one's neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.”