so last night i was hangin' out up at MSC (shocker) chatting with my new friend jeff.
jeff just recently moved his little family back here to texas. he actually knew ken and wellspring long before i ever rolled around so i'm glad to have him back. he gives me someone else to talk to other than ken-whew!
so jeff and i are talking and he begins to tell me his story: he left the big corporate business world to go and do ministry. he gets plugged in doing ministry at a church and one day the stuff hits the fan. eventually jeff and his family leave and head back here to this big, beautiful land i call home. i won't add any details since i'm not so sure what jeff minds me saying and seeing as how i tend to have a big mouth, i'll refrain. we've all heard church ministry horror stories and jeff's definitely ranks up there. the entire time i'm nodding my head because i've been through a situation similar to it and i can really identify with him. i think more people should hear stories like his and i’m hoping that one day he’ll be willing to share it.
so while jeff is telling me all this i can almost see and feel the pain, anger, and frustration he's working through and suddenly it hits me...
when did i stop being angry? when did the pain, anger, and frustration dissipate from my own experience? don't get me wrong... i don't want
it back, but i just wonder when it left me. i suppose i hadn't noticed.
i think that it began to leave when i found this whole "emergent" or "postmodern" thing...whatever you wanna call it. i suddenly had a place that i was welcomed and it was safe. i had somewhere to de-process from the traditional church and i suppose eventually began to forget the bad experiences i had been through. well, perhaps forget is a bad word. we never forget things like that, but we learn how to grow from them. i'm just glad that jeff hasn't left entirely. i'm glad that he's willing to give this one more shot. i'm glad that he has that nagging, driving passion like i do that simply wouldn't let him forget church and ministry. i'm glad he's working through it.
it makes me wish more people could begin to differentiate between the actions of the church and God. i think a lot of times we associate so closely the work of "christians" with God and that causes us to question things, especially our faith. since i've been here i've begun to feel it necessary to apologize on behalf of some christians and churches that are giving the rest of us, and j.c., a bad reputation. i hope that they too can de-process the way i did and jeff is.
today in a meeting ken made a really great point: eventually we at wellspring will hurt someone. the emergent church will hurt someone. we aren’t exempt from it.
this scares me...terribly. what if i get hurt again? where would i go to de-process from here??? where does someone go?
ahhhhaaaaa....and suddenly i find myself back at the idea of community.
in the past few years i've been really working on, dealing with, and focusing on my fight vs. flight tendencies. there are moments when i am so bull-headed that i will fight to the death about something and yet there are others when i will run for the hills. i'm hoping that if something does happen here in this safe space that i won't flee, but i'll stick it out no matter how dirty and ugly it gets.
like i said, i hope so.
my friend ryan is in a church called harbor which is similar to wellspring. there's actually a link under "church" here on this page if you'd like to check it out. his pastor jim made a comment the other night that i've heard before and i really think is true: the people that you love the most and love you the most are the ones that can also hurt you the most. how true and terribly unfair. it gets us back to that whole truly caring = vulnerability. i hate it and love it all at once. i just wish that i wasn't like a hurt puppy that wants to tuck her tail between her legs when she feels threatened. i just don't want us to hide from the chance of being hurt, which i realize is so much easier to say than do.
that's community though, to be able to stick it out. its something i want to try at...and it really beats being angry all the time.