From P-Yoo to Pew, Post 2 (by Vicky Scott)
This is Post 2 for the series, “From P-Yoo to Pew.” As always, you are welcome to submit your own!
I love the Church—do not be deceived; God and I have had several knock down drag out fights over this one. The Church has been the catalyst for countless tragedies. People have died in the name of Jesus. Others have been exploited for God’s honor. The Evangelical Christian Church has laid the foundation, built the walls, and reinforced the “us and them” barriers between those who are in and those who are out. The place you and I call home, the place where we have been compelled, convicted, and changed—has caused hundreds, thousands, and even millions pain.
I would argue this same place, on a micro or macro scale, has hurt your loved ones.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I bet, you, too, have been hurt by the church.
I have too.
And I have hurt people in the name of Jesus.
And I bet you have too.
The reality is, the brick buildings, the organs, the pews, and the hymnals have not hurt us.
The people who enter those buildings, play the organs, sit in the pews and sing from the hymnals have hurt us. The people who hear our hearts and our hurts, the people we see the ugliest, parts of ourselves. Those we admire who speak words of distorted “truth,” the words that pierce our hearts and make us feel inadequate and unwelcome at the Table.
This is a tragic reality.
Though it’s sad and messy, I choose to trust that those initial wounds were not caused out of malicious intent, rather a desire for us to know Love, Peace, and Grace in the deepest, purest, truest sense.
I can claim that to be True and good, and I can extend grace to that.
I know God’s heart breaks when we intentionally or unintentionally hurt one another.
But I think God is enraged when we choose to avoid or to ignore those hard conversations. Those awkward silences. Those tears. And, if you are me, the swearing.
We suck at apologizing.
We are terrible at reconciling with one another.
I will be the first to admit, I am guilty of this.
I was infuriated as I sat at my birthday dinner looking across the table, to see my step-mom, a woman I haven’t spoken to in years. The woman I hate most was at my birthday dinner. (Pretty selfish eh?)
Mid-meal, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, this is what heaven’s going to be like a meal, a celebration of sorts, my step-mom on my right, and another woman who I have not reconciled with on my left.
I was filled with compassion.
And when we recognize, we are all just trying to figure life out, we too will be filled with compassion.
And God is funny, this we know.
I would not be surprised if those we disagree with, those we have treated like shit, and those who we have said are unwelcome at the Table will be the people we will be sitting on our right and our left.
For all eternity.
We can celebrate, reminisce, and enjoy our meal, with one another, or we can listen, apologize, and reconcile during our time together around the Table.
How do you want to spend it?
Vicky is a young adult who loves iced coffee, dance parties, peanut butter and conversing with friends.