There is a way for us to behold glory, and it looks like reaching across the table and just crying with someone who’s hurting, not saying much.
Sometimes all you can say, your arms around them, is this sucks.
I understand what it means to be angry at God–I’ve been there–it’s okay.
Because really, that’s what God wants to say to them if He could, audibly, but He wants to use us.
Jumping into someone’s life and offering advice is a sacred thing. They’re making room for you in their secret places, their inner chambers, their heart of hearts, letting you see all their dirt and grime, the dust on the furniture, the stack of food-crusted dishes in the sink. And the last thing they want you to do is point it out, or to look embarrassed when they make apologies. It’s best to just give some serious disclosure —girl, look, you don’t even want to see my dishes right now–they are way worse.
There is a way to behold glory and it’s not in pretending we are righteous. It’s not in our walls and our thick layers that protect and our fears that keep others at a distance.
See, I have this huge dream to behold glory, to see Kingdom come here on earth. It’s a scary dream really, because I’ve been burned enough to put my faith right out.
But that’s the thing about hope–it’s stronger than fear. It just keeps enduring, keeps flickering back on and won’t be snuffed out. Satan hates this, I think.
There is a way to behold glory and this dream is that The Church will trust God to save the millions, and stop marching forward with our crusade in haste, leaving the wounded and the weak in faith falling to the sides in our wake. I hope that we will love well the few right around us, that we will make the time to reach across tables, across pews, across airplane aisles and checkout counters, really see the people behind the eyes we are looking into.
I don’t like conquests just for conquest’s sake, and I don’t think God does either.
I dream that we will reach out with a hug when that someone walks in the door a little tear-eyed on a Sunday morning.
I dream of bringing groceries by to the family that lost an income, not because the pastor announced the event in the pulpit, and we think our name may be printed in the bulletin, but because they whispered it to us, they trusted us, and we quietly showed up, Jesus at their door.
I dream of personal, one-on-one, left-hand-not-knowing-what-the-right-hand-is-doing kind of ministry.
I dream of a time when we don’t call it ministry. We just call it Love.
Compassion doesn’t mean feeling sorry for someone–it means entering into suffering with them. This is what Jesus meant when he said Blessed are those who mourn.
Because last I checked, I sin everyday and God said none of us is righteous, not one.
We are still using a grading system for our sins, for their sins, his sin, her sin, this group’s sin, that group’s sin, and just like the Pharisees we have so many unspoken rules.
Because of this, doors have been slammed shut in my face, too.
We think we have come so far. Yet, we deceive ourselves to think that we really have no sin, that we are not in a perpetual state of sinner-saved-by grace, a hopeless state of constant sinning, if not for the cross and grace of one very scandalously loving God.
We could ask ourselves this revolutionary question: How do we know they don’t go to sleep every night, sobbing, asking God to forgive them, to change them too, the ones we push away?
So I dream and I dream big. I dream of a time when all the walls will come down and we will love fierce. A time when we won’t be cowardly afraid of what’s thought of us if we invite that pregnant, unwed friend to church and sit next to them, or have coffee with a gay friend, or invite that family from across the tracks over for hashbrown casserole.
To tell them God is for them, that He loves them. Period. And if they trust us enough, maybe we get a chance to share the gospel.
So I dream of a better day when maybe pastors wear t-shirts and jeans, and church can be anywhere people are gathered in the name of love, and the red carpet is laid out for all, like our Father does for us, for those who come looking for love a little dirty and maybe their appearance a little different than ours.
I don’t dream of great exploits in God; I don’t dream of being a hero.
I do dream of beholding glory. I do dream of Kingdom come here on earth.
I dream of changing one stranger at a time with our genuine care, and I dream of a church, rising up out of the ash of their own bridges burned and beginning to build a crossway of Love.