Monday, July 23, 2007

if not us then who?

reading through one of my church history books i was struck by one of the author's questions. "if not the church, who else to the people turn to?" his question comes specifically from issues of social and political injustice, but resonates as bigger more deep question. the church and christ are called to be places where healing is possible wellsprings of hope. yet all through the last few weeks i have been assaulted with the reality that so often this has not been the case. where does one go with the reality that in a broken world often those who are established to be the safe guards and sanctuaries of the defenseless are too often the victimizers and abusers?

i sat in church on sunday listening to oft told stories and then oft told blessings of conversion while the deep well of utter dispare flooded out. i have been a christian all my life both of the strick and unstrick nature. neither manifestation of faith has lead to the removal of a deeply warped and ingrained belief that God is more harm-filled justice that healing and merciful grace. in the moments before i partook of the bread and wine, the realization hit like a metor that if i lost God and my tenacious yet thin thread of faith in God that i would have nothing to fill that space. let me explain most people feed their empty God space with a faith in love, goodness, peace, democracy, what have you yet in that moment i knew that i had no where else to go. this is because through the course of rational thinking and twenty seven years of life i don't trust many things to not be corrupted and i also have lost faith that love, blessing or anything more than the spiritual equivalant of crumbs will come to me. (and just for clarification sake, yes i am currently struggling with depression).

so often with God i feel like charlotte in the sex in the city episode of i think season five where she and carrie go to see a love guru who tells her she isn't doing enough. essencially the same bullshit response that many people give to christians who happen to be stuck in just plain shitty situations. boiling down to the belief that it is somehow the person's fault. yet what i love about the episode (and what i wish would happen to me) is that carrie stands up for charlotte calls for her to remember that she is doing everything she can, basically saying she is enough. that it is not about her works but about grace. trusting that in spite of all evidence she is enough.

and so i remember that in spite of all evidence my tiny faith is enough and will not leave which is why i take the bread and wine each week. i remind my self that it is God's grace that sustains me.

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