Sunday, April 08, 2007

Monday Morning Thoughts, We need Revival !


There are days when I feel that my blog is pointless, serving only as a cyber journal for me. It's no doubt just a bit of a mood, but its also a true and honest feeling for the day. I wonder if its worth all the shunning to be honest about my thoughts and feelings, but I am not the type of person to just write about small talk.

We live in a time when honesty of thought is not often looked upon with favor. Ignorance is indeed bliss in many instances. A few examples of what I mean.

I know a woman who is admired throughout the town, she goes to church, she home schooled, has delightful children, she is always "in order", however she has been very careful and justifiably so, to never allow anyone to know what her true life is like, she has said, no one would be her friend, despite that she is the very same person. Her children, just as orderly, her sincerity just as real, her laughter and kindness just as honest. She is wise enough to know, she is liked for what people assume about her. They assume she is very mainstream. Once the truth be known, that she is quite the opposite, she would never be liked, even though people have liked her for years and admired her for what they see. She has never lied to anyone about her life, never told any falsehood, she just never told everyone all the facts. She actually has TWO husbands. They all live together in one house, everyone assumes one man is a friend that rents a room. Now, if people find out the truth, she knows full well, they will all drop her like a hot potato, no matter that she is the same person she was before they knew. So the truth to our friendships seems to depend more on appearance rather than reality. And any help we could give, cut off by our own feeling of superiority that makes us run in the other direction, never helping one bit.

When I served as an Elder in the Seventh-Day Adventist church, (don't get smug reading that, you could use any denomination in place of SDA, as its the same in all ) people would come to me for counselling. They would pour out their hearts regarding problems. I might learn that the very elder that prayed in church this week for revival was the very man that cheated on his wife. And the very conference worker that sat in high places molested his now grown daughter. It was hard for me to look at those men and have compassion and not judge them. The judgement part is Gods job after all and it was only my job to show them God loves the sinner and them point them in the right way and let God do the work. This isn't a denominational thing, its a people thing. Its in every single church. I could tell you just as many conservative Mennonite stories. Many more actually about the young people that are condemned for wondering, thinking, stepping outside the Mennonite box. Just for thinking they are punished.

You see, all of us have issues, questionings, times of doubt and un-belief of some sort.

One church worker who was asked to speak around the world called me to help her out while she had surgery. I said "sure", "anything", not expecting to hear what I did. Would I go to her house every day at 10 am and pick up any credit card bills that came in the mail, before her husband came home for lunch. It seems she had a shopping habit that was way out of control and was about to sink them and she was keeping it all from her husband. You see, people all have struggles and as long as people don't know about them, they can keep their "righteous" friends. All these folks had one thing in common, fear of letting anyone know their troubles because they would be condemned and turned on, not loved and helped through it. Such is the Christian mindset. I say it needs to be changed. I say it need reformation ! You have all heard the saying, "love the sinner, hate the sin", well lets start doing that. I can just look at my own life and see this treatment is all too real. I write about my doubts, my concerns, my questionings and suddenly they are written in stone in peoples minds and I am shunned for being honest about what many people silently wonder and debate in their own hearts. How many of you reading this have wondered about WHO God is and WHAT He is about ? Even questioning, if He is real. That doesn't mean you STAY in that mindset, but it is in your thoughts.

I know too many people to count that condemn young people for having pre-marital relations and will shun them, cut them out of their lives, yet, they themselves were not very pure when they married. They will even tell you about some kind Christian who never judged them but pointed them in the right direction and changed their lives, while they "lived in sin" yet they themselves turn from that very opportunity to be like that one person who helped them.

You see judging and turning from someone, actually cuts you off from being that light in a dark place. You are running from the opportunity to be Christ like.

Is our faith and belief so weak that we are afraid of contamination ? Are we that high and mighty that we have the right to look down on the very soul Christ died to save ?

Its not just the bum on the street we need to show compassion to, but to the woman with two husbands, the pagan who lives a secret life, the child who lives with someone they are not married to, the woman that shops for more than she can afford, the person who is slowing killing themselves by over eating, the young man taking drugs after church on Sunday, the teenager who questions if there is a God, the man who talks about himself all day long, telling you how good a person he is, the girl in the pew behind you who looks so pure but is mentally taking apart each person she sees and saying negative things about everyone. You see, we are fall short and we all have need for unconditional love. Christ showed us, told us and commands us to not judge but to love one another as we love ourselves.

Cutting people off, and out of your life, may just be cutting out the one connection they would have that could show them by your kindness and love, the way that is true.


8 comments:

Rapunzel said...

Wow, Patty, what an amazing post! There is so much for me to think about here, so much to digest!

First, I completely agree about feeling like blogging isn't "worth it," you know that I shut down my blog for a couple of days becaause I couldn't handle the mean comments from some people. But then I get a nice comment by someone such as yourself and I'm inspired to keep writing, even if no one else likes it or reads it. I do it for me, so that I can get my thoughts/feelings out there. It is scary, though, to show your truth to the world, not to hide behind a facade like so many people do. I applaud you for your honesty, thank you for such a thought-provoking post!

neighbor said...

Patty,

I'm always amazed when I read in your blog that people are judging you so severely for what you write (which in turn causes you to think deeply on the subject of judgment... thereby leading to such thoughtful posts for our benefit)...

From what you write (for example, "I wonder if its worth all the shunning to be honest about my thoughts and feelings") it seems that your candor results in negative reactions from others - something I find very weird, to be honest. Are people really that small-hearted? My goodness.

I'd consider the notion that it's possible to feel compassion for that kind of person without needed to surround yourself with that sort of energy... but perhaps I'm not understanding the situation. Sometimes it's wise to choose to distance yourself from others in the interests of your health (mental & spiritual as well as physical).

There's one benefit to being an introvert... not being worried about what the "masses" think of me. :-) I'm just the sort of person who wouldn't get approval from the hard-core judges you mention, and that's ok, their opinions aren't worth much to me anyway.

You've posted this kind of thing before and it's always struck me as puzzling, this kind of back-in-high-school mentality of picking on other people.

who are we to judge?

Peggy said...

Patty, Your blog is one of the first ones I read each morning. You make me stop and think and thats a good thing. Your post today hit home with me. I take the burden of everything on my shoulders. My husband is a truckdriver and gone long periods of time so I don't want him worrying about things. I end up worrying all the time but try to be happy and calm to everyone. I thank you for your post.Don't let a few nay sayers stop you from blogging as you reach so many that need and enjoy your blog.

Patty said...

Hi Neighbor,
Its really not that it bothers me so much, its that it damages so many others, young ones, hurting ones, fragile souls that need understanding and love,that receive that sort of treatment. Unless its brought to peoples attention, it will go on and on.
We cannot change what we do not acknowlege as Dr Phil says.
Unless the true message of love is brought to peoples attention, they will keep on judging and hurting one another in the name of Christianity and that is just down right wrong.

Quilty Girl said...

When I do something wrong or bad the thing that helps the most is for someone to draw me close and forgive me. Love is just powerful that way. If someone criticizes me, I tend to try to justify my actions even if I know I've wronged. I don't know why that happens but it does. Thankfully, I am forgiven, and so is the one who criticized me! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I always find them to be uplifting!

Favorite Apron said...

Yes, it's a sin-sick world. I was harshly reminded of this yesterday when I learned that a friend's son was diagnosed with cancer at age 14. How hopeless it would all be without faith.
Our church has retained the custom of private confession and absolution. What a comfort it is to recognize that all are sinners and to hear the words of absolution pronounced by the Pastor, who is God's mouthpiece. Mountaintop emotional experiences are few and far between but the objective knowing of what the Easter season means remains firm.

p.s. - love your blog Patty. It's like a visit with a friend.

Newstart said...

Patty,
I think you and your blog are terrific. In my crazy hectic world you bring me to a sudden and sweet stop. Thank you for sharing your heart and your world.

Patty said...

thanks newstart

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