Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Letter to the North American Church

Dear North American Church,

Some people claim you don't know brokenness, perecution or pain. In some ways this is true. Most individuals who make up your numbers and fill your cushioned pews really have no idea what hardship is like, because they have closed their eyes to it. 

They have remained content behind the glass wall of television that separates us from a bleeding, deperate world. They have cast their gaze to the ground every time they hear the old man's coins jingling in his cup as he sits shivering on the corner. They have painted their houses and remodeled their kitchens and planted petunias along the path leading to the front door to mask the broken fellowship inside.

But covering up and looking away from brokenness doesn't mean it isn't there. 

I'm writing this to ask you, please, would you stop denying the brokenness? It's here in our midst. 

There are some, weary - exhausted really, bleeding, shivering, who have removed our masks to you, but you refuse to see us. You refuse to remove your own mask. 

We, the openly, vulnerably broken ones, so very much want to see a face of compassion, not the backs of so many heads turned away in fear of our exposed wounds. We want to feel the touch of knowledge and loving that says, "I understand; I've been there too. I am there still, in many ways." We want your listening ears to encourage and your encouraging words to soothe our ears.

But you're afraid. 

You know your own brokenness. You know you can understand, but you're afraid of just how much you might be able to relate. You're paralyzed with a fear that relating, that relationship will break you open more than you ever thought you could be stretched wide. 

Please. Don't be afraid. Not of us.

Not of me. 

This cowering from brokenness, this cringing from blood spilt and bodies strewn is never going to help us overcome our fear of it all. Only the flinging wide of our broken arms to embrace all the brokenness of each other is going to bring us into intimate contact with the body of our Healer, broken like bread for us. 

In the stickiness of each other's blood maybe we could find the cleansing of His blood?

Health doesn't look like porcelain white skin free from scars and sweat and callouses. Health looks like a people who know they're broken, who cry out when they feel pain because they know someone hears them, who look intensely with compassion into the wounds and touch gently with healing fingers that channel ultimate grace. Health looks like looking into the torn open flesh and exposed bones to see in them a reflection of the "Lamb standing, as if slain" (Rev. 5:6). 

He was broken and in the healing He still bears the visible marks of the slaughtering. And I wonder, will we, the robed white on That Day, bear the marks of our slaying, of our dying to self and living to Him, of our bloody battle here, and of our sobered, rejoicing recognition of our own brokenness? Will we see the wounds of others, never exposed on earth, as an eternal reminder of all that the slain Lamb was scarred to heal? He became like us, and it says we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. 

Church, don't miss out on a glimpse of eternity right here. Unmask your eyes to my open wounds and remember the Lamb slain in sacrifice for your own shattered story. Don't be afraid. No more looking away from the bloodshot, tearing-up eyes. No more glass walls between you and the bleeding world. No more painted over, remodeled, planted pretty facades for all our lies. 

Look me in the eye.
Get your hands dirty.
Acknowledge your own brokenness by staring straight in respectful recognition of mine. 

Be His Church. The broken, bloodied, Healer's very Body. 

No comments:

Post a Comment