wounder and wounded
There’s something that’s been eating away at me for a couple of weeks. When I first heard it, I knew it affected me, I just hadn’t quite realized that it would infect me. I keep going back to that night wondering what I should have done. I wonder if I should have stepped way outside of my comfort zone and talked to them. I wonder if I should have apologized on behalf of Christians. I wonder if I should have tried to not overhear their conversation so I could go on with life. I wonder how many others have this wound.
Just about every person we meet in this life is wounded in some way. Some have been hurt by family, friends, co-workers, the government, and some by the church.
That’s the hardest wound to heal from and there will always be a scar. Perhaps the wounds are deeper and more gruesome because it’s a collective of people that we think represents God.
God doesn’t wound us. He’s the healer. He’s the antidote. He’s the comfort. It’s the people who claim they know what He says and then act without the greater command of love who injure. Yet when the church as a whole says or does something that seems to hit us in our very core, our gut reaction is to isolate ourselves from the One who could mend it before it becomes a scar. We feel that it’s God telling us that we aren’t wanted. We feel it’s God who says that we aren’t good enough. We feel it’s God who isn’t loving us.
Man. Flesh. Humanity. We are the ones who fear and hate and withhold love.
That Friday night at a bar and I overheard a lesbian couple trying to sort out what to do now that they can’t be in their church, my heart broke. They said they felt abandoned and disconnected from God. I wish I could say that my heart broke out of pure compassion, but it was partly out of guilt.
I have been on both sides of this story. I’m not proud of it. Several years ago, I honestly thought I was doing the right thing. How arrogant and foolish. I destroyed a friendship because I thought I was speaking for God. I told a close friend that I couldn’t even eat with her if she chose that lifestyle. I was the church. I caused wounds. I left scars.
At the beginning of this year, after intense prayer, research, therapy, programs… I became the one sitting across the table telling a friend that I was going to start to pursue a same-sex dating relationship. For the most part, I was treated with way more grace and love than I had showed my friend. There were a few friendships that I lost because of it and things aren’t so great with my mother. Yet, the hardest part in all of it, was knowing that I had to leave my church. It wasn’t that leadership said I couldn’t attend. I knew I couldn’t serve in any area that felt meaningful or like an act of worship, so I chose to leave.
I regret not saying something to that couple. Even if I said the wrong thing, if I said it with love, maybe it could have at least had some healing. Maybe I really just wanted to say something to make up for my past wrong.
I am sorry.