Sometimes church is hard for me.
Not because I am angry with God, His people or His Word.
But because my experience is an outlier for Western “Sunshine” Christianity.
I don’t fit in with the folks who smile and wave and pretend that they have all they ever wanted, heaven is a nice place to look forward to, and they are “living their best life now”.
With so much effort being poured into church growth, so much press being given to the benefits of faith, and so much flexing of religious muscle in the public square, the poor in spirit have no one but Jesus to call them blessed anymore.
My eyes are open to the desperate reality that this world is not as God intended. My heart knows that even though my hope in Christ is a lifeline, it isn’t anesthesia.
My soul is battered and bruised.
My “hallelujah” is definitely broken.
I have a hard time with Sunday School lessons that draw one-liner takeaways from difficult to understand scriptures. I cannot give assent to simple life lessons designed to give congregants a mantra for the coming week.
Life is more complex than that.
And if you listen closely to Jesus’ own words you can hear it.
So sometimes I can’t gather in the halls with folks who insist life is simple, faith erases all pain and the hope of Heaven makes everything alright.
I sit home with my Bible, my selection of honest worship songs and my God.
He has invited me to bring my hurt to Him, so I do.
He is a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
I can trust my heart to Him.