Beautiful, loving body of Christ–the extension of the hands and feet of God,
Spiritual hospital for the invisible wounds so many people carry into your great assembly,
Beautiful, messy, broken church of God–the bride of Christ that He will make clean one day:
I love you. But we have a problem. Within your masses, there are hurting people who come through your doors every week. You can’t see that they’re hurting–or maybe you can, but choose to ignore their pleas for help.
These people look just like you, believe just like you, but yet they do not feel that they are a part of you. They do not feel safe to be themselves–to be vulnerable with you for fear you will turn them away as soon as they speak their minds. For fear that they cannot express themselves freely because they have to be plastic–constantly smiling and polite.
Sure, you know their names, their faces, maybe even their family and where they work. But you don’t really care to know people for who they really are.
They have invisible wounds they hide because you told them they have to be a certain way to be accepted. They have to pretend–pretend everything’s okay.
But it’s not.
They need your help. They need your love and support.
Would you truly accept them for who they are? Would you love them like you say you love people?
“Absolutely,” you say. “We include everyone here! We hate the sin, and love the sinner. There’s room at the table for all. We’re family here.”
Ah, but you don’t know what pain these people have been through by your own hand already. You don’t know yet their struggles. Every time you open your mouth to talk about those you claim not to hate, you spew such wicked, awful inhumane words about people created in God’s image just like yourself.
So, they politely smile and listen on the outside. But on the inside–you have wounded them at the core of who they are. Silently they speak volumes with their body language and that imperceptible change of face as they steel themselves for your harsh words.
Until one day they choose to tell you what’s really on their hearts. One day it’s not going to be enough to hide in the shadows. One day they will trust that all your talk of loving people as they are is true.
And I hope you don’t fail them. And I hope you will listen to love like you say you do. I hope that it happens for them like I dream that it will happen for myself.