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The Cathartic Express (Next Stop: “A Flippin’ Fairyland”)

These last few weeks have been bittersweet.  That is the only word that I can use to describe it.  The myriad of emotions, from righteous anger to mountaintop praise has flooded my mind and inflamed my heart.  I haven’t written for a few weeks, not knowing where to even begin with my thoughts, not knowing how to funnel my passion into a collective portion of my thoughts.  The last thing I want is to overwhelm or confuse people or even to, simply, emotionally vomit on them.  This isn’t the Cathartic Express (but, dang, that has some RING to it, eh?).  

 I’ve come to the overall conclusion that we are having an identity crisis.  We don’t know who we are individually. We don’t know who we are corporately, as a church.  We don’t even know who we are supposed to be. We are, as Ephesians 4:14 says, “infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching.”  Some don’t even care. Or they’re so immature in their faith, they can’t even recognize an issue before it becomes, “deep doo-doo.”  And here’s the deal: if church leadership can’t recognize it, how do we expect others to. 

 People, left and right, are throwing marriages away.  People are tossing out parts of the Bible that don’t suit their fancy, people clinging to their pride, hell-bent on their way or the “faith forsaken highway.”  There’s no war with guns and tanks, but the arrows and swords are flyin’ on a regular basis, from where I’m sitting.  Name calling, defensiveness, accusations thrown like daggers, when our simple calling is to be light and as Ephesians goes on to say, 

 “Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for that it is light that makes everything visible.” 

 The church has become a haunt of the undead corpses.  Shells of people who walk around with happy faces, but are filled with emptiness and shame.  Rather than getting to the heart and encouraging others to run to the light and help them along the way, we make a cozy little nest for them in their shame.  Yeah, that’s a great idea (dripping sarcasm intended):  Allow them to sleep in the shadows when we could walk alongside them and dance in the light.  When did it become “more loving” to look over the hurts and habits of someone, rather than encourage them and be honest about your concern and desire to help?  I don’t read anything in my Bible that tells us to worry more about offending a friend than to humbly and lovingly confront them.  Am I missing something???   

 So we have people wandering around, who don’t have a clue about what’s going on around them. No one else has any idea about the turmoil in their own hearts.  Since no one has the guts to say anything and reach out, we just seal up our vulnerabilities and lock them tightly away.  “You don’t care about me, I don’t care about you.”  That or the “You’re judging me” ammunition rounds come out.  Can I just tell you how violently ill I am of hearing that cop-out?! It’s one thing to have “Gert the gossip” tryin’ to make herself feel better and kick you down a few notches, it’s quite another to have someone who genuinely cares, reach out, as uncomfortable as it is, to convey concern.  If someone has a question about me, someone who I trust and love, they darn well better ask!  If they don’t, how else do I know if they care or not?!  Anyone can pass you by,  with a “Hey, how’s it goin’? Yeah, really? Me, too.” People who love me want the best for me.  They know I am better than making stupid mistakes or they may recognize something in me that I am unable to see myself.  Why on earth would I not be comforted knowing that someone thinks enough of me to communicate their love and concern?!  This isn’t some flippin’ fairyland… 

 Clearly this is turning into a vomit session.  That is not my intention, but I have a beginning point for a few practical ways we can learn about who we are, who we want to be, and who we should be.  I will be researching and discussing the following topics and what God’s word says about them:  Leadership, modesty, gossip, confrontation, and discipleship.  Please pray for me as I search and put aside my own biases for the only opinion that matters: His

 May God add blessing to the reading.

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