i am not a medically trained person, but i did hear somewhere that when a bone breaks the healing process makes the area of the break stronger. i think that happens too in the healing of the soul. there are areas of my soul that have been wounded. they are healing and strength returns with each step. but if these areas are used by other people or myself to recall shame or wound me, i crumble.
the best thing about being addicted to redemption is that those weaknesses, as i turn them over, are healed and redeemed, and then used to glorify THEM in wonderful and surprising ways.
something incredible is happening here at our church. it started with liam's sermon a couple of weeks ago. he owned his weaknesses in front of the congregation and they responded, oh how they responded. we are still hearing amazing things about how that touched lives.
the most frustrating thing about serving here has been the 'perfection image' that the senior pastor and some of the leadership felt they had to project. it runs counter to everything i believe and hold true. i felt as if i was diametrically different to everything they held up as 'fit for service'. it has been incredibly frustrating and disheartening to keep going and to hold fast to the things i know to be true. all the while being held away from the ability to use my weaknesses and strengths in active ministry outside of the youth program.
it got to the place where real resentment, anger and loathing were building to the point of causing bitterness. i knew that the only way to stop this was to begin to pray for them. to come before god and pray. the problem was that i was unable to honestly pray for anything life giving because of this bitterness.
so the only honest prayer i could pray was 'crack the door lord, i don't know any other way to pray, just please crack the door.'
i told liam this morning that it was really a pretty faithless prayer - it was almost a challenge to god - "they'll never be real, but somehow, some way help them to find that they don't have to project perfection to minister".
sunday was the first signs of the crack in the door. i think the pastor came home from his mission trip and was flooded with responses to liam's and the other staff's sermons - they were grace filled and honest. i think he saw the tide shifting and realized that it was moving without him. it's baby steps, but that's what a crack is isn't it? that's where it has to start. that's where the LIGHT gets in. i'm still skeptical, but very encouraged.
my new prayer is 'open the door lord, heck, take it off it's hinges...' that's a prayer i'm praying in my life too.
last night at recovery i heard from my friend who was giving the lead that the senior pastor snuck in and was standing at the back corner of the room. there is nothing else in the world that i want more than for all of us to be on the same page, not my page, but god's page. nothing more. it has been my heart's desire since we arrived. my constant hope and prayer. i constantly was questioning 'why are we here god? why am i here?'
tears are falling as i write this because i know now that god did hear that faithless prayer, and it's THEIR heart for the leadership and our church to own their frailty so THEY can be glorified.
liam read this quote this morning:
Snowflakes are frail, but when they stick together they can stop traffic.
i look at the momentum of an avalanche, or the incredible power of a blizzard - our frailties individually are easily used to melt away at us. but together we can affect great change.
dear god, would that it could be so today.