Truth is my life has resembled somewhat of a rollercoaster. Just when I think it’s all clear to get off the damn thing and walk on solid ground - BOOM!! The thing cranks up again and away we go. It’s nothing if not entertaining, and many people have likened it to a very bad episode of Days of our Lives. Personally I think that’s giving it a bit too much credit (the tv programme, not my life). Anyone else felt like that?
I guess that’s a stupid question in this day and age. Most people I know feel like that. Struggles are part and package of normal life today, and yet something in our spirit continues to protest this reality. It may be as simple as a whispered Why? Why me? Why her? Why them? What did we do to deserve this? Is life really supposed to be like this? I know IT IS like this for many of us, but is it SUPPOSED to be? Personally I don’t believe God ever intended for us to live as victims in this world He gave us. This is a massive subject but I just wanted to put that statement out there.
Many of you already know that my family and I have just come out of a very messy church breakup/closure. The story is big enough to dedicate an entire book to - and I probably will do just that (eventually). But for now, allow me to skim over the gorey details and get straight to a heart issue (just one of the many).
People who dedicate their lives to something they believe is worth the sacrifice are a rare breed. I mean TRULY dedicate and TRULY sacrifice, to the point where their own lives get lost somewhere along the way, and the only thing they are capable of doing - is doing what they are told (by the ones leading the pack). Now this wouldn't be so bad if it was Jesus we were actually following, because He’s worth it. And yes I’d do it all over again - if I knew it was HIM leading me. But that’s the problem right there - I always believed this to be my truth, but as it turns out, I can’t be trusted to tell right from wrong. In fact none of us could. Why is that?
They used to say our church was particularly good at attracting broken people and putting them back together. Broken people were drawn to us, and especially our senior leader because he knew how to speak their language and show them hope. This hope was none other than Jesus Christ, and if you joined our family, you would come to know Him better. Nothing unusual about this right? Sounds pretty stock standard as far as churches go right? Two words: Surface Layer.
The reason why most people didn't stay on (and our church never grew) is because they found out very quickly that the more layers they peeled back, the stranger it got. Yes they found God in that place and for that we remain thankful, and yes they encountered a people who knew how to love, and were passionate about God and His Kingdom, but it was never enough and we could never understand why most people wouldn’t stay.
But for some reason, truly broken people usually stuck around and were converted into this rare dedicated breed I speak of. Were we better than everyone else? NO...although that is what we were told - that we were the elect and elite. Were we more special to God? NO….although if you didn’t do things the way we did, then you would never be authenticated as a true son of God. Crazy stuff. I could go on and on, but in the interest of time and space let me just cut straight to the point.
Broken people are the best people to reconstruct and reform into the image and likeness of whoever is doing the reconstructing, and once their hearts are healed, they are the ones most likely to be diehard loyal to Christ and His church. Again, nothing wrong with this - IF you're being reconstructed by God Himself. Then add to this the loyalty factor (where broken people feel an overwhelming sense of loyalty to their new found family), the needy factor (much like gang culture where lost and lonely people attach themselves to those who accept and help them), and my all time favourite, the fatherless factor (this is the fatherless generation and if an orphan’s broken heart finds what it’s looking for in a father figure, then they are perfect candidates). BIG Subject this one - more on that later.
Basic psychology would tell us that broken people are the best kind of people to use and abuse, because when they become “whole” again, they will ride or die for the person or people they believe helped save their lives. Including and especially Christ.
So the big ugly question that everybody is thinking but not everyone has the courage to ask goes something like this;
Where were you?
Why didn't you stop this? Why didn't you save us from this? We loved you. We served you. We believed our life counted for something. We gave all of ourselves to your church. And YOUR church - the church of JESUS CHRIST did this to us."